(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Conservation outcomes from pastureland and hayland practices : assessment, recommendations, and knowledge gaps"

ABOUT NRCS: HELPING PEOPLE HELP THE LAND 



The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a USDA agency that works with landowners through conservation 
planning and assistance to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals for productive lands and healthy ecosystems. 
Working in nearly every county in the Nation, NRCS employees understand local resource concerns and challenges to 
assist with conservation solutions that last. Land stewardship by private landowners is critical to the health of our Nation's 
environment. Science and technology are critical to good conservation. NRCS experts from many disciplines come together 
to help landowners conserve natural resources in efficient, smart and sustainable ways. NRCS succeeds through partnerships, 
working closely with individual farmers and ranchers, landowners, local conservation districts, government agencies, Tribes, 
Earth Team volunteers and many other people and groups that care about the quality of America's natural resources. More 
information about the NRCS is at www.nrcs.usda.gov. 

«s* ANRCS 

United States Department of Agriculture 

Natural Resources Conservation Service 



Conservation Outcomes from 

Pastureland and Hayland Practices 

Assessment, Recommendations, and Knowledge Gaps 



United States Department of Agriculture 

Natural Resources Conservation Service 






C. JERRY NELSON, EDITOR 



ABOUT ARS: LEADING AMERICA TOWARDS A BETTER FUTURE THROUGH 
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND INFORMATION 

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency. ARS 
conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provide 
information access and dissemination to: 

• Ensure high-quality, safe food, and other agricultural products 

• Assess the nutritional needs of Americans 

• Sustain a competitive agricultural economy 

• Enhance the natural resource base and the environment, and 

• Provide economic opportunities for rural citizens, communities, and society as a whole. 

More information about the ARS is at www.ars.usda.gov. 



USDA 



United States Department of Agriculture 

Agricultural Research Service 



ABOUT AFGC: LEADERSHIP FOR THE FORAGE AND GRASSLAND INDUSTRY 

The American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) is an international organization made up of 22 affiliate councils in the 
United States and Canada with a total individual membership of about 2,500. Its primary objective is to advance the use of 
forage as a prime resource for feed and for natural resource conservation. Its members represent the academic community, 
producers, private industry, institutes and foundations. Together, they unite in a common cause to develop the forage industry 
and promote the profitable production and sustainable utilization of quality forage and grasslands. More information about 
AFGC is at www.afgc.org. 



ISBN-978-0-9849499-2-2 



780984 9499 






"5M I s ! 





On the cover: Beef stackers grazing a mixed species 
pasture in a scenic area of Vermont. Photo is courtesy 
of NRCS. 



Nelson, C.J. (ed.) 2012. Conservation Outcomes 
from Pastureland and Hayland Practices: 
Assessment, Recommendations, and Knowledge 
Gaps. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas. 



Printed by 
Allen Press, Inc. 
810 E. 10th Street 
Lawrence, KS 66044 



Funding was provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, with 
cooperation from the USDA Agricultural Research Service, through a partnership with 
the American Forage and Grassland Council in support of the Conservation Effects 
Assessment Project. 



USDA 



&NRCS 



^ 



United States Department of Agriculture 

Natural Resources Conservation Service 



USDA 





The expressed goal of this synthesis is to inform deliberations of managers and 
policymakers regarding the current effectiveness and potential improvements to 
pastureland and hayland conservation programs. As such, this synthesis represents a 
scientific assessment that was reached independently of the current position or policy 
of the US Department of Agriculture or the United States government. 

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 

ISBN 978-0-9849499-2-2 

Print Date: December 201 2 



CONTRIBUTORS AND EXTERNAL REVIEWERS 



Academic Coordinator 

C. Jerry Nelson 

NRCS Coordinator 

Leonard W. Jolley 

USDA-ARS Liaison 

Matt A. Sanderson 



PASTURELAND AND HAYLAND IN THE USA: 
LAND RESOURCES, CONSERVATION PRACTICES 
AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES 

Team Leader— Matt A. Sanderson 
Members— Leonard W. Jolley and 
James P. Dobrowolski 

FORAGE AND BIOMASS PLANTING 

Team Leader— David J. Barker 

Members— Jennifer W. MacAdam, Twain J. Butler, 

R. Mark Sulc 
NRCS Advisor to Team— Chuck Stanley 



EXTERNAL REVIEWERS 

Reggie Blackwell 

Sid Brantly 

Marty Chaney 

Wayne Coblentz 

Gene Fults 

Rachel Gilker 

Tom Griggs 

Bob Hendershot 

Walter Jackson 

Rob Kallenbach 

Mark Kennedy 

Alan Knapp 

Eileen McLellan 

Ron Morrow 

Kevin Ogles 

Matt Sanderson 

Ken Spaeth 

Roger Staff 

Chuck Stanley 

Chris Teutsch 

Mimi Williams 



PRESCRIBED GRAZING ON PASTURELANDS 
Team Leader— Lynn E. Sollenberger 
Members— Carmen T. Agouridis, Eric S. Vanzant, 
Alan J. Franzluebbers, Lloyd B. Owens 
NRCS Advisor to Team — Kevin Ogles 



FORAGE HARVEST MANAGEMENT 

Team Leader— C. Jerry Nelson 

Members— Daren D. Redfearn, Jerry H. Cherney 

NRCS Advisor to Team— Gene Fults 



NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT ON PASTURES 
AND HAYLANDS 
Team Leader— C. Wesley Wood 
Members— Philip A. Moore, Brad C. Joern, 

Randall D. Jackson, Miguel L. Cabrera 
NRCS Advisor to Team — Bob Hendershot 



SYNTHESIS AND PERSPECTIVES 
Team Leader— C. Jerry Nelson 
Members— David J. Barker, Lynn E. Sollenberger, 
C. Wesley Wood, Matt A. Sanderson 
NRCS Advisor to Team — Ken Spaeth 



Conservation Outcomes from 

Pastureland and Hayland Practices 

Assessment, Recommendations, and Knowledge Gaps 






The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) 
is a multiagency effort to quantify scientifically the 
environmental outcomes of conservation practices used 
by private landowners. 



C. Jerry Nelson 

Editor is Professor Emeritus, Plant Sciences, University of Missouri 



Correspondence: C. Jerry Nelson, 205 Curtis Hall, 
University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 6521 1 
nelsoncj@missouri.edu 








WW*"* 1 "' 



iF 





iv Forward 

Bob Hendershot, Miles Kuhn, Bill Tucker, Gary Pederson 

v Preface 

C. Jerry Nelson 

1 Introduction 

C. Jerry Nelson, Matt A. Sanderson, and Leonard W. Jolley 

5 Executive Summary 

Authors 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 




Table of Contents 









CHAPTER l: Pastureland and Hayland in the USA 25 

Matt A. Sanderson, Leonard M. Jolley, and James P. Dobrowolski 

CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 41 

David J. Barker, Jennifer W. MacAdam, Twain J. Butler, R. Mark Sulc 

CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 1 1 1 

Lynn E. Sollenberger, Carmen T. Agouridis, Eric S. Vanzant, 
Alan J. Franzluebbers, and Lloyd B. Owens 

CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 205 

C. Jerry Nelson, Daren D. Redfearn, and Jerry H. Cherney 

CHAPTER 5: Nutrient Management on Pastures and Ha/lands 257 

C. Wesley Wood, Philip A. Moore, Brad C. Joern, 
Randall D. Jackson, and Miguel L. Cabrera 

CHAPTER 6: Synthesis and Perspectives 3 1 5 

C. Jerry Nelson 



APPENDIX I: NRCS Practice Standards reviewed by the CEAP assessment teams 335 

APPENDIX II: Factors used to convert metric units to English units 354 

APPENDIX III: Scientific names of plant species mentioned in the chapter texts 355 

APPENDIX IV: Chemical names for pesticides mentioned in the chapter texts 358 



Index 360 



u 



FOREWORD 



Forages and grasslands have long been important for the food supply of humans, mainly through 

ruminant animals and wildlife. Early on, production of food and farm income was sometimes 
I HIS eTTOrt accomplished at the expense of the environment. Early in the 20th century, while U.S. agriculture 

felt the brunt of the depression and the dust bowl, strong public interest emerged in conservation 
Will aSSISt in and new concepts of grassland agriculture. The Soil Conservation Service was formed, new 

regulations were enacted, and cost-share programs were established to assist farmers with 
advancing the conservation goals. Now, early in the 21st century, the USA is recognizing that agriculture, and 

especially grassland agriculture, provides multiple services to humankind. 

broader values 

The pastureland conservation effects assessment project (CEAP) is a multiagency effort by the 
Ol pastures and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture 

(NIFA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and National Resources Inventory (NRI) to 
hay fields quantify environmental effects of conservation practices used by landowners participating in 

selected USDA programs. In 2008, writing teams of university, ARS, and NRCS scientists were 
assembled to address the science base for conservation practice standards for 1) pasture and 
hayland planting, 2) prescribed grazing, 3) harvest management, and 4) nutrient management. 
Integrated syntheses incorporating socioeconomic concerns were also made. The goal was 
to inform NRCS, scientific and outreach communities, and especially policy advisors of the 
current status. The literature synthesis itself is a landmark contribution on effects of conservation 
practices on environmental goods and services derived from U.S. pastures and haylands. 

The writing teams are commended for their detailed literature search, thorough review, and 
salient assessment of the science base for conservation practices. Without their due diligence and 
persistent efforts the assessment would not be as detailed or effective. It is not easy to compare 
conservation data from experiments using different species, soils and climates, yet common 
features were teased out and assessed. In some cases solid themes emerged, while in others there 
was not enough research data to evaluate, fully, which was duly pointed out. Each team provided 
conclusions and pointed to new directions. Thanks are due to the ARS (Matt A. Sanderson) and 
NRCS (Leonard W. Jolley) for agency liaison and to C. Jerry Nelson for professional and editorial 
leadership on the project. 

As an organization that encourages economically and environmentally sound forage agriculture, 
the American Forage and Grassland Council is pleased to be a part of this major effort. There is 
a strong need for mechanisms that help producers and agencies work together to apply science in 
ways that improve both incomes and the environment. It is also critical to discern research needs 
to fill knowledge gaps and support more effective management decisions. This authoritative book 
also provides the foundational framework to move toward even more effective practice criteria for 
conservation and a strong science base to undergird them. 

We know this effort will assist in advancing the broader values of pastures and hay fields. It will 
also better equip landowner clients and agency personnel to develop, implement, and utilize 
management practices that best provide an adequate income for the producer while enhancing 
the environment and providing other ecosystem services to improve the quality of life for 
everyone. 

Bob Hendershot, AFGC President (2010-201 1) 
Miles Kuhn, AFGC President (2009-2010) 
Bill Tucker, AFGC President (2008-2009) 
Gary Pederson, AFGC President (2007-2008) 



iv Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. Jerry Nelson, Matt A. Sanderson, and Leonard W. Jolley 



PREFACE 

Pastureknd and hayland are known to reduce soil erosion and play important roles in land 
stewardship on diversified farms. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s stimulated the concept of 
grassland agriculture: an on-farm system in which pastures and hay fields play significant roles 
in crop rotations and soil conservation. In addition, the contributions of nitrogen fixation 
and organic matter were recognized and utilized. But lower cost fertilizers, especially nitrogen, 
improved genetics, and increased use of herbicides, pesticides, larger machinery, and other 
technologies led to higher crop yields, increased farm sizes, and specialization. Gradually 
livestock enterprises became concentrated in areas or regions where row crops were less 
competitive. 

At the same time there was a new era of public interest in agriculture regarding use of 
chemical fertilizers and pesticides with the focus on food safety. This was heightened by 
Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, which criticized pesticide use and stimulated formation 
of the Environmental Protection Agency and movement toward organic agriculture and 
sustainability. Concern continued to increase about "corporate agriculture," how food supplies 
were affected by industry, and implications for human health and the environment, well 
beyond soil conservation. Today food and agricultural products are expected to be produced 
in a sustainable manner that maintains or improves the physical environment, ensures food 
safety, provides desired taste and nutrition, and provides adequate food and habitat to support 
biological diversity. Emotions speak loudly, but science is needed to document the factors 
involved and to drive efforts toward rational and sound solutions. 



u 



The document will 

help guide future 

programs and 

policies as well 

as provide insight 

for the scientific 

community to 

focus research..." 



The CEAP initiative is a critical step to document the science base for conservation programs 
that are supported by public funds and to plan for the future. Teams of researchers located 
and assessed the scientific literature on four key conservation practices supported by USDA- 
NRCS programs. But the effort was also visionary by evaluating scientific gaps and the needs 
for science in the future. The document will help guide future programs and policies as well 
as provide insight for the scientific community to focus research on key ecosystem services to 
serve humanity. Climate change, food safety, water quality, and preservation of biodiversity are 
only a few of the many factors addressed in the CEAP effort that will affect future policies and 
management decisions for pastureknd and hayland. 

The authors are commended for their exhaustive effort and analyses. This CEAP publication is 
a stake in the ground that should be revisited and revised on a regular basis. Science and public 
expectations are both dynamic; research on emerging issues needs to be conducted in a timely 
manner and evaluated for its application on a regular basis. It is imperative that social science 
and modeling be incorporated into the research agenda to fully understand the holistic process 
of pasture and hayland management for multiple purposes. 

CEAP has been an extraordinary effort focused on a few key USDA-NRCS programs that 
clearly illustrates the value of science and power of its use. The implications and needs for new 
knowledge are also valuable to policy makers and to the research and education communities 
as they move forward. 



C. Jerry Nelson 

Editor and Academic Coordinator 

Pastureland and Hayland CEAP Synthesis 




u 



Today food and 
agricultural products 
are expected to 
be produced in a 
sustainable manner 
that maintains or 
improves the physical 
environment, ensures 
food safety, provides 
desired taste and 
nutrition, and provides 
adequate food and 
habitat to support 
biological diversity. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



Introduction to the Conservation 
Outcomes from Pastureland and 
Hayland Practices 

m 



C. Jerry Nelson, 1 Matt A. Sanderson, 2 and Leonard W. Jolley 3 

'University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; 2 USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Northern Great Plains 
Research Laboratory, Mandan, ND; 3 USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Beltsville, MD 



The Conservation Effects Assessment Project 
(CEAP) is a multiagency effort to quantify 
scientifically the environmental outcomes 
of conservation practices used by private 
landowners. It encompasses a national 
assessment of conservation practices and 
studies of conservation practices applied 
to watersheds that are based on detailed 
syntheses of scientific literature. First, a 
bibliography of relevant literature was 
compiled (Maderick et al., 2006). The 
CEAP grazing lands assessment, begun 



in 2006, was partitioned into rangelands, 
located primarily in the west, and pasture/ 
hayland, located primarily in the east. 
That was followed by commissioning 
a synthesis of the scientific literature 
regarding four conservation practices on 
pasture and hayland with funding by the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural 
Resources Conservation Service (USDA- 
NRCS) through the USDA-Agricultural 
Research Service (USDA-ARS) and the 
American Forage and Grassland Council 



Hay bales waiting to be taken 
to storage. Photo courtesy of 
NRCS. 




Introduction 




Large capacity mower. Photo 
by Jerry Cherney. 



(AFGC). A similar synthesis was conducted 
for rangelands (Briske, 2011). 

The current CEAP document is the result 
of a 4-yr effort by pasture, forage, soil, 
animal, and watershed scientists from 
across the USA who thoroughly searched, 
compiled, interpreted, and synthesized the 
scientific literature regarding its support of 
production and environmental outcomes 
from conservation practices on pasture and 
hayland. A major purpose of CEAP is to 
expose scientists to needs of practitioners 
and expectations of policy makers who must 
account for intended outcomes from each 
conservation practice. 

The overarching goal of this document is to 
communicate the depth and comprehensiveness 
of the science that supports each conservation 
practice on pastureland and hayland in the 
USA, and to report the areas where the science 
base is weak or inadequate. This includes 
answering scientific questions such as: 

• Do published scientific studies support 
how conservation practices affect the 



hydrologic cycle on pastureland or 
hayland? 

• What is known about effects of 
conservation practices on soil quality, plant 
communities and their dynamics, and air 
and water quality in major agroecoregions 
of the USA? 

• How can the conservation practices be 
modified or improved to be more effective? 

• What research is needed to gain insight 
regarding how to evaluate conservation 
practices at multiple scales, including 
trade-offs among ecosystem services? 

Two workshops were convened to organize 
the teams of authors and determine the 
conservation practices on which to focus the 
literature synthesis. The first workshop held 
at Louisville, KY in January 2008 included 
scientists from land-grant universities and 
USDA-ARS, technical specialists and staff 
of USDA-NRCS and representatives from 
the AFGC. The group discussed the most 
critical conservation issues or practices that 
should be addressed, defined the boundaries 
of the synthesis, and proposed potential 
writing teams. Several conservation practices 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. Jerry Nelson, Matt A. Sanderson, and Leonard W. Jolley 



ranging from animal trails and walkways 
(Practice Standard 575) to watering facilities 
(Practice Standard 614) were considered. In 
the end, the consensus was that Prescribed 
Grazing Management (Practice Standard 
528), Nutrient Management (Practice 
Standard 590), Pasture and Hayland Planting 
(Practice Standard 512), and Forage Harvest 
Management (Practice Standard 511) should 
be assessed (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ 
technical/Standards/nhcp.html; Appendix I). 
Several other conservation practice standards 
have relevance to pasture and hayland 
practices and, where applicable, should 
be addressed partially within the chapter 
framework of the most critical practices. 

The second workshop, held in Beltsville, MD 
in May 2008, brought together university 
scientists, USDA-ARS scientists, and program 
leaders from the USDA-NRCS, ARS, and the 
National Institute of Food and Agriculture 
(NIFA). This group defined the approach 
and framework with which to document 
and synthesize the science behind purported 
production and environmental outcomes 
of each conservation practice applied to 
pasture and hayland. A matrix of purposes 
and criteria for each conservation practice 
standard and resource concern was developed 
as the fundamental framework (Table 1.1). 
The matrix was based on a similar model used 
by the rangeland literature synthesis teams 
(Briske, 2011). 

An introductory chapter discusses pasture and 
hayland resources of the USA and resource 



concerns, which is followed by assessments of the 
critical conservation practices in separate chapters. 
The cross-cutting chapter focuses on integrating 
the results and recommendations of the individual 
chapters with a look to the future (Chapter 6, this 
volume). 

For each chapter (practice standard) the 
purported outcomes based on the published 
purposes and criteria of the conservation 
practice are treated as testable research 
questions. Quantitative evidence was 
assembled and synthesized to test each question 
or purported outcome. The responsible 
mechanisms behind the practice are discussed 
and critical knowledge gaps identified. In 
essence, each writing team answered the basic 
questions of 1) does the literature document 
that the practice accomplishes its goals, 2) if it 
does, how effectively does it work, 3) if it does 
not work, why not, and 4) how can the practice 
be improved? 

The synthesis focuses on peer-reviewed 
literature from the USA; however, in some 
cases relevant international literature was 
consulted. In some instances, high-quality 
research even though not peer reviewed 
(i.e., gray literature) is used, but only if the 
report clearly defined the objectives, gave the 
experimental design, and presented data with 
quantitative estimates of precision. 

Each chapter was prepared by an independent 
writing team of university and USDA-ARS 
scientists who were nominated by their peers. 
An academic coordinator led the editing 



u 



This group 

defined the 

approach... 

with which to 

document and 

synthesize the 

science behind 

purported 

production and 

environmental 

outcomes of each 

conservation 

practice..." 



TABLE 1.1. The matrix of conservation practice and resource concerns used to provide structure of the literature synthesis. 
Outcomes and significance of the assessment were reported in six chapters. 



^^^^^^^^^^^H 


Resource Concerns 


^^^^^^^^■1 


Conservation Practice (chapter, authors) 


Soil 


Plants 


Animals-domestic 
and wild 


Water 


Air 


Economic and Social Aspects 
(Chapter 6, cross cutting, Nelson) 


1 . Introduction (Sanderson et al.) 


■ 








■ 




2. Pasture and hay planting (Barker et al.) 














3. Prescribed grazing (Sollenberger et al.) 














4. Forage harvest management (Nelson et al.) 














5. Nutrient management (Wood et al.) 


■ 








i 






Introduction 



Round bales of grass hay in 
Ohio. NRCS photo by Rob 
Rhyan. 



efforts and kept the teams on task. Each team 
was supported by USDA-NRCS grazing-land 
resource specialists from across the USA who 
provided information, input, and guidance 
on how USDA-NRCS conservation practice 
standards are interpreted and applied in the 
field. Each chapter was peer reviewed by at least 
two expert scientists external to the writing 
team. They were also reviewed by two-four 
NRCS specialists. 

Parts of individual chapters were presented 
at symposia held in conjunction with the 
annual meetings of the American Forage 
and Grassland Council (AFGC) in June 
2009, the Crop Science Society of America 
(CSSA) in November 2009, and at the Fourth 
National Conference on Grazing Lands 
(GLCI) in December 2009 (Briske et al., 
2010). A summary poster of salient findings 
and recommendations was presented at the 
annual conference of the AFGC in June 2010. 
Summations of the findings and implications 



were presented at the annual meetings of the 
AFGC in June 201 1, and the Soil and Water 
Conservation Society in July 20 1 1 . 

Literature Cited 

Briske, D.D. (ed.) 2011. Conservation effects 
from rangeland practices: Assessment, 
recommendations and knowledge gaps. Allen 
Press, Lawrence, KS. 

Briske, D.D., C.J. Nelson, L. Jolley, and MA. 
Sanderson. 2010. Progress and implications 
from the grazing lands conservation effects 
assessment project (CEAP) literature syntheses. 
Proc. 4th Natl. Grazing Conf., Reno, NV. 12-15 
Dec. 2009. 

Maderick, R.M., S.R. Gagnon, and J.R. 
Makuch (compilers). 2006. Environmental 
effects of conservation practices on grazing lands. 
A Conservation Effects Assessment Project 
(CEAP) bibliography. Publ. NAS-SRB-2006-02. 
Natl. Agric. Lib., Beltsville, MD. Available at 
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/nri/ceap/ 
review.html (verified 25 Feb. 2010). 




Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



Executive Summary: New Foundations for 
Conservation Standards 1 




C. Jerry Nelson, David J. Barker, Lynn E. Sollenberger, and C. Wesley Wood 



THE CEAP INITIATIVE 

Forage, grasslands, and grazing lands constitute more than two-thirds of agricultural land in the 
USA, where they contribute to food production and provide several ecosystem goods and services. 
Increasing and sustaining provision of these goods (e.g., wildlife and aesthetics) and services 
(e.g., conserving and protecting soil, water, and air resources) usually requires public funding and 
makes government agencies responsible and accountable for the investments. The Conservation 
Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) is a multiagency effort begun in 2003 to evaluate published 
research to determine if outcomes desired from conservation practices used by private landowners 
are supported by science. Results from CEAP will help policy makers and program managers 
implement existing conservation programs and design new ones to meet national goals more 
effectively and efficiently. In addition, CEAP identified gaps in scientific knowledge and 
recommended ways to build a timely science base for meeting simultaneous goals of production 
and conservation, and providing other ecosystem services expected by the public. 

Previous CEAP assessments focused on cropland, wetlands, and wildlife. The grazing lands 
assessment was partitioned into rangelands, located primarily in the west, and pasture/hayland, 
located primarily in the east. For the pasture/hayland effort, teams of prominent scientists 
with expertise related to four selected conservation standards were formed in 2008 to search 
thoroughly, compile, interpret, and synthesize the scientific literature regarding its support of 
production and environmental outcomes. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) 
advisory personnel were associated with each team to clarify practical aspects of describing, 
designing, and installing the practice. Dr C. Jerry Nelson served as Academic Coordinator of 
the project and editor of the publication. The procedure was similar to that used by literature 



u 



Results. ..will help 

policy makers 

and program 

managers 

implement 

existing 

conservation 

programs and 

design new ones 

to meet national 

goals 



'Excerpt from Nelson, C.J. (ed.) 2012. Conservation Outcomes from Pasture and Hayland Practices: Assessment, 
Recommendations and Knowledge Gaps. Allen Press, Lawrence, KS. 




ikm 



ttftfQMl 




BB 



BWQ 



MBS 



u 



This effort now 
provides a solid 
framework for 
evaluating the 
current situation, 
and for focusing, 
designing, 
implementing, 
and justifying 
future iterations 



synthesis teams for the rangeland CEAP assessment (Briske, D.D. [ed.] 201 1. Conservation 
benefits of rangeland practices: Assessment, recommendations, and knowledge gaps. Allen Press, 
Lawrence, KS.) 

The book contains an introduction, four chapters of in-depth assessment of a specific practice, 
and another chapter on synthesis and perspectives. Chapters on practice standards include: 

• Planting for Hay, Silage, and Biomass (Code 512, 2010 edition) 

• Prescribed Grazing (Code 528, 2007 edition) 

• Forage Harvest Management (Code 511, 2008 edition) 

• Nutrient Management (Code 590, 2006 edition) 

Each writing team answered the basic questions of 1) does the literature document that the 
practice accomplishes its goals; 2) if so, how effectively does it work; 3) if not, why not; and 4) 
how can the practice be improved? Areas needing some or additional research were pointed out. 
Each chapter was reviewed by the academic coordinator and U.S. Department of Agriculture- 
Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) liaison to ensure the review was comprehensive and 
had addressed the purposes and criteria. Revisions were reviewed by the academic coordinator, 
two peer experts not related to the CEAP effort, and by at least two NRCS practitioners. In each 
case the authors addressed all issues raised by reviewers. 

The search, review, and evaluations were rigorous, thorough, and comprehensive, going 
well beyond any previous assessments of pasture and hayland practices for conservation 
purposes. This effort now provides a solid framework for evaluating the current situation, and 
for focusing, designing, implementing, and justifying future iterations and assessments of 
conservation practice standards for pastures and haylands. This Executive Summary highlights 
overarching assessments and recommendations by the writing teams. These assessments 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: New Foundations for Conservation Standards 



are supported by detailed analyses recorded in the book chapters and summarized in tables 
published within the Executive Summary. 

CURRENT STATUS OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE 

Agriculture in the USA is continuing to change rapidly from nature-integrated, family-centered 
operations to dominance of large-scale operations using a corporate or industrial model. Farm 
size, machinery size, and land prices are increasingly based on crop production that depends on 
industrial inputs ranging from cultivars to chemicals. Gradually, natural grasslands, hay fields, and 
woodlands have been converted to large-scale monoculture crop production in large fields, which 
has displaced desirable habitat for wildlife and reduced plant biodiversity that provide natural 
abatement of potential risks to the environment. Credibility of agriculture is being questioned, 
because the general public often identifies large-scale, corporate farms with a business interested 
mainly in profit, having only a marginal interest in ecosystems, and increasing use of nonfamily 
employees who may be exploited. 

Research Needs Are Broader in Context 

Current and future research for pastures and hay fields needs to be broader in scope, more 
complex, more interdisciplinary, and longer term. Experimental methods, focused largely on 
a specific hypothesis with rigorous protocols to ensure appropriate measurements for 2-4 yr, 
are used to answer input-output questions. In contrast, conservation questions, especially with 
pastures and haylands, involve nature and natural settings, usually have several animal and plant 
variables, allow less experimental control, and must be conducted for longer time periods, in 
many cases for 10 or more years. Change toward the ecological equilibrium of a pasture treatment 
or among perennial forages in mixtures takes time before that endpoint, the key objective, can be 
evaluated. Cooperation with ecologists and social scientists is needed to research these multiple 
outputs to answer complex management questions for pastures and haylands. 

Expectations of Agriculture Go Beyond Food Supply 

Food supply has traditionally been the major expectation from agriculture, but that food must 
also be safe, healthy, and have a desired taste. Public interest and pressure includes recognizing 
animal rights, managing livestock waste, improving water quality of streams and lakes, and 
conserving soil and biodiversity. Although acceptance and use of biotechnology and genetic 
engineering of crops by U.S. farmers and consumers occurred rapidly, demand for organic 
products also increased, especially among high-income families. Some prefer "natural" foods 
that are different from organic foods and are labeled "locally produced," "grass-fed," "hormone- 
free," or "free-range," for example, or have other value-added traits. New research will require 
cooperation with social scientists so human elements of both consumers and producers receive 
appropriate attention and understanding as changes occur. 

These concerns also point toward greater use of hayland and animal manures in crop rotations 
and use of more pastureland for meat and milk production. 

Private Industry Brings Mixed Reactions/Emotions 

Amalgamation or connectivity among agricultural industries has brought new technologies 
that are adopted rapidly by crop farmers, giving the public perception of industrial control 
of agriculture. The private sector greatly influences machinery, cultivars, chemical fertilizers, 
pesticides, and other technologies now used routinely in "conventional" agriculture. Research 
by private industry and patenting, including genetic engineering, have allowed private 
plant breeders to develop new cultivars with improved water-use efficiency, nutrient-use 
efficiency, herbicide tolerance, and disease and insect resistance of major crop plants. These 
methods and materials are usually adopted quickly, with the outcome being greater economic 
competitiveness of grain and row crops, higher land prices, and fewer rotations with forages 
and use of animal manures. 



u 



future research... 

needs to be 

broader in 

scope, more 

complex, more 

interdisciplinary, 

and longer term." 




©••---** -<V M FSHf': ..-V 






u 



Local knowledge 
about climates, 
soils, plant 
species, and 
livestock needs 
is essential to 
provide credible 
guidance 



Public Support Is Needed for Pasture- and Hayland Issues 

Conservation of natural resources will continue to be a national priority with additional 
state support. There are few technologies being developed by the private sector for forages 
aside from some seed supplies; seeding, harvest, and packaging machinery; fertilizers; and 
a few pesticides. Even so, significant management technologies such as rotational stocking, 
nutrient management, harvest management, and no-till seeding have emerged from public- 
sector research to improve yield and quality of pastures and hay fields while conserving 
resources. Private industry contributes machinery that helps implement conservation 
practices, but does little in areas where there is low or minimal potential for profit on their 
investment. Thus, enhanced public support will be needed for research, education, and 
incentives for volunteer adoption of needed practices. 

A New Era Is Emerging for Pasture and Hayland 

Forages are renowned for their capacity to reduce erosion, protect surface waters, provide low-cost 
feed, benefit crop rotations, support biodiversity, and provide sites to receive animal manures. 
There are hundreds of grass, legume, and forb species used for pasture and harvested forage. Each 
species has its own growth form, response to biotic and abiotic stresses, and conservation value. 
Pastures and forages provide good potential for erosion control on sloping and lower productivity 
sites, and are quality materials for riparian areas and waterways that reduce risks of plant 
nutrients, livestock wastes, and antibiotics as runoff pollutants. These diverse species support food 
chains and quality habitats for wildlife. Although the challenges are great, pastures and haylands 
can be managed to provide economic uses of these landscape positions while providing many 
ecosystem services that are valued by the public. 

Summary 

It is impossible to research the multiplicity of combinations of problems and potential 
solutions over the range of sites needing conservation practices. Thus, dependence is on basic 
research knowledge that is augmented by experience of the agency personnel at the local level. 
Local knowledge about climates, soils, plant species, and livestock needs is essential to provide 
credible guidance for implementation of the best practice, its maintenance, and its long- 
term effectiveness. Education of landowners is also critical for understanding the goals and 
ways adaptive management is used to maintain the area so it provides the greatest function. 
Modeling will help understand interactions among the biological, economic, social, and 
cultural expectations. 

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS BY CONSERVATION PRACTICE 

Each team evaluated the current level of research support for each purpose and its underlying 
criteria. Collectively, the team reached consensus and developed the suggestions reported in the 
individual chapters in the published book. The lead authors then gleaned these major findings 
from the chapters, integrated the assessments, and developed the tables and Executive Summary. 



u 



Site- and 
species-specific 
management 
during the first 
year is critical; 



PLANTING FOR HAY, SILAGE AND BIOMASS chapter 2 



This USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS) practice focuses on establishing 
adapted and/or compatible species, varieties, or cultivars of herbaceous species suitable for 
pasture, hay, or biomass production. Purposes include the following: 

Improve or maintain livestock nutrition and/or health 

Provide or increase forage supply during periods of low forage production 

Reduce soil erosion 

Improve soil and water quality 

Produce feedstock for biofuel or energy production 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: New Foundations for Conservation Standards 



Key Synthesis Findings (from Table ES.l) 

• Publications covered 162 grass, legume, and forb species, but more than 50% were on only 
28 species. Research is needed on more species for specialized situations such as unknown 
dormancy conditions or unique establishment requirements. 

• Adaptation to a wide range of conditions exists to provide species and management options 
for specific locations. 

• Establishment is improved by using legume seed inoculated with the proper strain of 
rhizobia. Strains for some species differ in effectiveness, but may not be available. Rhizobia 
are not available commercially for less-common legume species. 

• The best measure of seed quality is the germination test (percentage and date). Seed size and 
storage conditions are also important, but are not reported commercially. 

• Phosphorus applications gave more consistent improvement in grassland establishment than 
did potassium or nitrogen. Specific responses depend on plant species, other nutrients, and 
competition from nonsown species. Recommendations for seeding-year stands differ from 
those for mature stands. 

• Satisfactory establishment results from many methods of site preparation, planting methods, 
and species, typically with a direct relationship between cost and success. Best advice is from 
local specialists who adapt research to local conditions. Greater use of modeling may be 
warranted. 

• Planting success depends on a period of favorable temperature and rainfall. Timely weather 
forecasting is advantageous. 

• There is no benefit from sowing rates higher than those recommended by state agencies. 
Seeding rate should be adjusted to deliver seed on a pure-live-seed (PLS) basis. 

• Seeding depth is critical; small seeds should be planted near the soil surface with adequate 
soil coverage. A general guide is to plant a seed no deeper than seven times its diameter. 

• Site- and species-specific management during the first year is critical; species such as native 
warm-season grasses take more than 1 yr to be ready for their intended use. Seedling root 
growth is critical. 

• Establishment is greatly improved by control of weeds or existing vegetation, but data were 
inconsistent as to the best method. Risk of runoff and soil erosion is greatest when there is 
little vegetation, and is extended with species that take more time to become established. 

• There was little research on effects of establishment time or methods on water quality, soil 
erosion, gaseous emissions such as C0 2 or NO x , other environmental factors, and food 
sources and habitat for wildlife. 

• Few research studies consider establishment of biomass species other than those, such as 
switchgrass, that also can be forage or pasture crops. 



u 



Recognizing and 
using adaptive 
management like 
weed control, 
fertilization, and 
cutting times will 
assist managers 




Implications: Generalized descriptions for forage and biomass planting are nearly 
impossible because of the almost infinite number of combinations of species, cultivars, 
planting methods, planting times, fertilizer regimes, seed coatings and treatments, 
climatic conditions, and final uses for the stand. Specifications to use local guidelines 
and expertise are warranted, because many of those guidelines have been 
researched locally. New species and new developments in cultivars, seed coating, 
fertilizer products, options for weed and pest control, and potentials for genetically 
modified forage and pasture plants suggest an ongoing need for continued research 
on establishment practices in each major climatic zone of the USA. 

Establishment of forages for biomass harvesting, wildlife, erosion control, and 
water harvesting requires additional research, hopefully conducted with teams of 
ecologists and social scientists that support modeling to strengthen understanding 
relationships and transferability of information. Research is needed to determine 
when or at what stage plants are deemed to be established, and to quantify effects 
of establishment methods on runoff and erosion, wildlife food supplies, and time 
when the planting is ready for its intended use. 

Research is needed on establishment on lower productivity and sloping soils that 
are often used for forage supplies and ecological benefits. Education of agency 
staff will help blend experience and science for planning and implementing 
the practice. Recognizing and using adaptive management like weed control, 
fertilization, and cutting times will assist managers correct emerging situations to 
minimize risk, ensure rapid and successful establishment, and provide maximum 
conservation benefit. This will require educational programs for managers focused 
on desired outcomes including forage supplies and other ecosystem services. 



TABLE ES.l. Summary of purposes, criteria used for evaluation, and level of research support of Natural Resources 
Conservation Service Conservation Practice Standard for Forage and Biomass Planting, Code 51 2. 



Purposes of the 
practice standard 


Criteria used for assessing Support by research based on 350 scientific 
achievement of purpose publications and 162 different species 


Improve or 
maintain livestock 
nutrition and 
health 


by establishing species and cultivars Species and cultivars differ in production and quality, 
with greater production, and potential to But increased livestock production was assumed more 
increase animal intake likely from increased stocking rate than intake per head. 

by establishing species and cultivars A negative relationship often occurs between 

with greater nutritive value (i.e., production and nutritive value. Less-productive species 

energy content, protein or mineral and cultivars (above) can have higher nutritive value. 

concentration) 


by replacing species with low nutritive Whether through complete stand replacement (e.g., full 
value or with high levels of toxic cultivation) or partial stand replacement (e.g., sod or 




compounds no-till seeding), species with greater nutritive value can 

be introduced into grasslands. 

by establishing species and cultivars to Species and cultivars that are tolerant to cold can 
provide nutrition during periods of feed improve early-spring and late-autumn production, 
deficit (e.g., extend forage production and those tolerant to heat and drought can improve 
season) summer production. Major species are characterized. 

by establishing species with wildlife Wildlife species vary in nutritional and habitat 
benefits such as nesting habitat, cover, requirements that cannot be met by any single forage 
biodiversity, and insects species. Species-rich vegetation offers more benefits to 

wildlife than monocultures. 



10 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: New Foundations for Conservation Standards 



TABLE ES.1. continued. 



Purposes of the 
practice standard 


Criteria used for assessing 
achievement of purpose 


Support by research based on 350 scientific 
publications and 1 62 different species 


Provide or 
increase forage 
supply during 
periods of low 
forage production 


by establishing species and cultivars 
with greater production potential 

by establishing species with higher 
environmental tolerance (e.g., cold, heat, 
drought, pH, salinity) 


More productive species and cultivars can be harvested 
for hay or silage, for use during periods of low forage 
production. 

Cold- and drought-tolerant species with greater forage 
production during feed-deficit periods can provide in 
situ grazing and reduce hay or silage feeding costs. 


by establishing annual forage crops to 
fill predicted feed deficits for harvest or 
grazing 


Annual forage species can be planted into existing 
grassland, or as cover crops in grain systems, to provide 
forage for in situ grazing or for hay or silage harvest. 


Reduce soil 
erosion 


by establishing perennial species that 
provide year-round ground cover, and by 
avoiding cultivation 


Perennial grasslands have year-round soil cover with 
lower rates of soil loss than bare soil and can be 
managed for improved persistence. 


by establishing species with improved 
adaptation and greater persistence 


Stand longevity of new alfalfa cultivars with multiple 
insect and disease resistance may be more than double 
that of older cultivars. 


by using no-till methods for 
establishment to alleviate soil cultivation 


Sod- and no-till seeding, especially with herbicide 
use for vegetation control, can successfully establish 
grasslands. 


by establishing plants with greater 
ground cover that reduces the rate of 
surface water flow 


Plants with greater ground cover and denser vegetation 
have less runoff and higher water infiltration. Vegetation 
density is also affected by management. 


Improve soil and 
water quality 


by establishing species with vigorous 
root growth that ensures carbon 
sequestration and nutrient uptake 


In general, grasses have dense, fibrous root systems, 
whereas legume root systems may include large 
taproots and crowns; rooting characteristics are 
affected by management as well as establishment 
practices. 


by establishing N-fixing legumes, thus 
reducing the need for fertilizer N 


Legumes are relatively fast to establish, can be included 
in grassland mixtures, or can be no-till drilled (sod 
seeded) or broadcast seeded (frost seeded) into grass 
stands 




by establishing species that ensure 
efficient nutrient cycling, and support 
active populations of soil macro- and 
micro-organisms 


Nutrient cycling and some soil microbial processes 
are impaired during establishment, but resume once 
the stand is established. Later on, nutrient cycling is 
affected significantly by forage removal as hay or silage. 


by reducing soil erosion 


Where water quality is a critical issue, new seedings 
should use no-till methods or fast-establishing 
companion crops to avoid bare soil or reduce time of 
bare soil exposure. 


Produce feedstock 
for biofuel or 
energy production 


by establishing species and cultivars 
with high biomass potential 

by establishing species and cultivars 
with unique characteristics for biofuel or 
energy production (e.g., low ash, high 
cellulose) 


The most productive biofuel feedstocks (miscanthus 
and giant reed) can be established vegetatively 
with stems and/or rhizomes. Switchgrass can be 
established from seed. 

Species differ in concentration and types of structural 
and nonstructural carbohydrates for biofuel purposes. 
Several forage species have high ash content and may 
be less suitable for biofuel purposes than others. 



11 



u 



Grazing 
intensity. ..is the 
most important 
grazing strategy 
on pasturelands; 



PRESCRIBED GRAZING chapter 3 



This USDA-NRCS practice standard focuses on managing harvest of vegetation with grazing 
and/or browsing animals. The practice may be applied as a part of a conservation management 
system to achieve one or more of the following purposes: 

• Improve or maintain desired species composition and vigor of plant communities 

• Improve or maintain quantity and quality of forage for grazing and browsing animals' health 
and productivity 

• Improve or maintain surface and/or subsurface water quality and quantity 

• Improve or maintain riparian and watershed function 

• Reduce accelerated soil erosion, and maintain or improve soil condition 

• Improve or maintain the quantity and quality of food and/or cover available for wildlife 

• Manage fine fuel loads to achieve desired conditions. Note: It was decided to not address this 
purpose, as it is covered in detail by the Rangeland CEAP assessment (D. D. Briske, 201 1) 

Key Synthesis Findings (from Table ES.2) 

• Grazing practices have major influence on plant, livestock, water, soil, and wildlife. 

• Grazing intensity (i.e., stocking rate or plant height) is the most important grazing strategy 
on pasturelands; and conservation plans should prioritize proper grazing intensity. 

• Stocking method is useful for fine-tuning the system once appropriate grazing intensity 
is imposed. Rotational vs. continuous stocking positively affects forage accumulation and 
utilization as well as important measures of water quality. 

• Adequate forage ground cover reduces runoff and improves water infiltration, wildlife 
habitat, avian nesting sites, and food supply for wildlife and livestock. 

• Cograzing or grazing by one livestock species vs. another can be used to manipulate botanical 
composition of pastures, decrease abundance of unwanted plants, and create greater 
patchiness in plant height that improves wildlife habitat. 

• Time scales for most pastureland research have been limited such that long-term changes in 
plant persistence, livestock diets, and effects on soil, water, and wildlife may be inadequately 
described. 




Implications: Grazing intensity is the prescribed grazing strategy having greatest 
impact on plant, animal, soil, water, and wildlife. Thus, defining and achieving an 
optimal grazing intensity should be of highest priority in conservation planning and 
implementation. Although societal interest and emphasis on soil, water, and wildlife 
is increasing, there is a paucity of literature addressing effects of prescribed grazing 
on these ecosystem components. Future grazing studies on pastureland should be 
more comprehensive in scope, including these components in addition to plant and 
livestock measures, and be carried out over longer time periods to allow the full 
effects of prescribed grazing to be quantified. These data will provide the basis for 
development of effective pastureland ecosystem models. 

A significant weakness of existing literature is the lack of consistent or standardized 
research protocols for measuring forage mass, accumulation, nutritive value, and 
species composition, especially in comparisons among stocking methods. There 
appears to be a significant future role for emphases including 1 ) use of prescribed 
grazing in adaptive management to correct undesirable trends in pastureland 
response and restore desired grassland condition; 2) better education of end users 
regarding implementation of prescribed grazing technology; 3) detailed monitoring 
and reporting of the impacts of implementation of prescribed grazing practices 
to use adaptive management more effectively to adjust the system to meet goals. 
Accumulation of monitoring data will also assist in future designs and education 
programs for landowners. 



12 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: New Foundations for Conservation Standards 



TABLE ES.2. Summary of purposes, criteria used for evaluation, and level of research support for Natural Resources 
Conservation Service Conservation Practice Standard for Prescribed Grazing, Code 528. Each criterion is evaluated 
for degree of research support from studies using five different grazing strategies. 



Purposes of the practice 
standard 


Criteria used for assessing 
achievement of the purpose 


Support by research for each criterion 
(level of support in parentheses)' 


Improve or maintain desired 
species composition and 
vigor of plant communities 


by providing grazed plants sufficient 
recovery time to meet objectives 


Stocking method (SS); season of grazing 
(SS) 


by improving or maintaining vigor of 
plant communities, especially key species 

by enhancing diversity of plants and 
optimizing delivery of nutrients to animals 


Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method 
(MS); season of grazing (MS); type and 
class of livestock (MS) 

Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method 
(WS); distribution of livestock (MS) 


by combining it with other pest 
management practices, which can 
promote community resistance to invasive 
weed species and enhance desired 
species 


Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method 
(MS); season of grazing (MS) 


Improve or maintain quantity 
and quality of forage for 
grazing and browsing 
animals' health and 
productivity 


by reducing animal stress and death from 
toxic or poisonous plants 


None documented 


by improving and maintaining plant 
health and productivity 


Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method 
(MS); season of grazing (SS); type and 
class of livestock (MS) 


by basing management on target levels 
of forage utilization or stubble height as 
a tool to help ensure goals are met 


Grazing intensity (SS) 


by locating of feeding, watering, and 
handling facilities to improve animal 
distribution 


Distribution of livestock in the landscape 
(MS) 


Improve or maintain surface 
and/or subsurface water 
quality and quantity, and 
riparian and watershed 
function 


by improving or maintaining riparian and 
watershed function 


Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method 
(MS); season of grazing (SS); distribution of 
livestock (MS) 


by minimizing deposition or flow of 
animal wastes into water bodies 


Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method 
(WS); season of grazing (WS); distribution 
of livestock (SS) 


by minimizing animal effects on stream 
bank stability 


Grazing intensity (WS); stocking method 
(MS); season of grazing (MS); distribution 
of livestock (SS) 




by providing adequate litter, ground 
cover, and plant density to maintain 
or improve infiltration capacity of the 
vegetation 


Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method 
(MS); season of grazing (MS) 


by providing ground cover and plant 
density to maintain or improve filtering 
capacity of the vegetation 


Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method 
(MS); season of grazing (MS) 


by minimizing concentrated livestock 
areas, trailing, and trampling to reduce 
soil compaction, excess runoff, and 
erosion 


Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method 
(MS); season of grazing (MS) 



13 



TABLE ES.2. continued. 



Purposes of the practice 
standard 


Criteria used for assessing 
achievement of the purpose 


Support by research for each criterion 
(level of support in parentheses) 1 


Reduce accelerated soil 
erosion, and maintain or 
improve soil condition 


by reducing accelerated soil erosion 


Grazing intensity (MS) 


by minimizing concentrated livestock 
areas to enhance nutrient distribution and 
improve ground cover 


Grazing intensity (MS); stocking method 
(MS) 


by improving carbon sequestration in 
biomass and soils 


Grazing intensity (MS) 


by application of soil nutrients according 
to soil test to improve or maintain plant 
vigor 


Grazing intensity (MS) 


Improve or maintain the 
quantity and quality of food 
and/or cover available for 
wildlife 


by maintaining adequate riparian 
community structure and function to 
sustain associated riparian, wetland, 
flood plain, and stream species 


Grazing intensity (SS); season of grazing 
(SS); distribution of livestock (MS) 


by providing for development and 
maintenance of the plant structure, 
density, and diversity needed for desired 
fish and wildlife species 


Grazing intensity (SS); season of grazing 
(SS); type and class of livestock (MS); 
distribution of livestock (MS) 


by improving the use of the land for 
wildlife and recreation 


Grazing intensity (SS); season of grazing 
(MS); distribution of livestock (MS) 




by avoiding any adverse effects on 
endangered, threatened, and candidate 
species and their habitats 


Grazing intensity (MS); season of grazing 
(MS); distribution of livestock (MS) 



'The five grazing strategies were grazing intensity, stocking method, season and deferment of grazing, type and class of livestock, and distribution of livestock 
in the landscape. SS = strongly supported; MS = moderately supported; WS = weakly supported; for grazing strategies not shown there was no support in the 
literature that this strategy affected the criterion in question. 




14 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: New Foundations for Conservation Standards 




FORAGE HARVEST MANAGEMENT chapter 4 



This USDA-NRCS practice standard focuses on timely cutting and removal of forages from the 
field as hay, green chop, or ensilage. The practice applies to all land uses where machine-harvested 
forage crops are grown. Purposes include the following: 

Optimize yield and quality of forage at the desired levels 

Promote vigorous plant regrowth 

Maintain stand life 

Manage for the desired species composition 

Use forage plant biomass as a soil nutrient uptake tool 

Control insects, diseases, and weeds 

Maintain and/or improve wildlife habitat 

Key Synthesis Findings (from Table ES.3) 

• Most research was on management with outputs of yield and forage quality. Only a few long- 
term studies evaluated effects on persistence or botanical composition. 

• The State Agricultural Research System provides local research on cutting height 
and frequency for yield and quality of major forage species, generally when grown in 
monoculture. 

• Adaptation of major species and their use characteristics have been researched at local levels. 

• Ecosystem research has been focused on quantifying N and P losses from the field with 
implications for efficiency of nutrient use and improved water quality. 

• Integrated pest management has emphasis on alfalfa insects and a few others like army worm. 
Most diseases are addressed with the use of genetic resistance. Biocontrol has been researched 
for a few insects and weed species with moderate success. 

• Delaying first harvest of hay or hay-crop silage of many cool-season species favors success of 
ground-nesting birds; cutting 100 mm above soil level improves survival of turtles. 



u 



Only a few 

long-term studies 

evaluated effects 

on persistence 

or botanical 

composition." 



15 



ft 



Periodic 
monitoring of 
the practice and 
education of land 
managers will 
help understand 
challenges" 



Several warm-season native perennials are lauded for wildlife benefits because of growth 
habit, maturity, and provision of protection over the winter, but few research studies have 
quantified the superiority over other species. 

Allowing growth during fall improves overwintering success in northern environments. 
Growth habits of cool-season grasses in spring favor harvest for hay compared with summer 
when leaf growth favors grazing or accumulating forage for winter grazing. 
Legumes fix nitrogen for hayland that can be carried over for crop production. 
Principles for making and storing quality hay, haylage, and silage are well documented. 
Harvest and storage losses are well characterized for both hay crops and silages; strategies to 
minimize losses have been researched for most conditions. 



Implications: Agricultural Experiment Stations have developed sound management 
practices for major species that are transferable among states. Managing for forage 
yield and quality is well known for major species, with less information available on 
stand longevity. There is growing awareness that wheel traffic damages plants and 
causes soil compaction, reducing production and persistence, especially for legumes, 
and may increase runoff. Similarly, key soil criteria, weather data, and life cycles of 
biota need to be incorporated into the research design, measurements taken, and 
interpretation of data to elucidate major interactions in such complex systems. 

Long-term research on pure stands and mixtures is needed to understand changes 
among component plant species and other biota over time. Further, interactions with 
forage management suggest one wildlife form may be enhanced at the detriment of 
another form. Specific wildlife types need to be evaluated to understand effects of 
field sizes, forage species, position on the landscape, and management practices on 
success of birds, small mammals, and other wildlife. Entomologists, plant pathologists, 
soil scientists, wildlife specialists, and ecologists need inputs to scale the research so 
results can be fitted into models for comprehensive ecosystem assessments. Periodic 
monitoring of the practice and education of land managers will help understand 
challenges, promote use of adaptive management to mitigate problems, and evaluate 
attempts to restore or maintain the practice for the stated goal. 




16 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: New Foundations for Conservation Standards 



TABLE ES.3. Summary of purposes, criteria used for evaluation, and level of research support of Natural Resources Conservation 
Service Conservation Practice Standard for Forage Harvest Management, Code 511. 



Purpose of the practice 
standard 


Criteria used for assessing achievement 

of the purpose Support by research 


Optimize yield and 
quality of forage at 
the desired levels 


harvest at frequency and height to maintain Strong support on major species, limited on 
healthy plant community as recommended by state other species being used in special situations, 
extension service 


harvest forage at stage of maturity for desired Strong support on major species to optimize 
quality and quantity yield and quality. 


delay harvest if prolonged or heavy precipitation is Moderate, need comparative data on rate of 
forecast that would damage the cut forage yield and quality change due to weather or 

later maturity. 

harvest silage/haylage crops within the optimum Strong support for haylage and silage crops 
moisture range for the storage structure(s) being over a range of moisture contents, 
utilized 

use state extension service recommendations for Strong support for optimum content, but 
optimum moisture content and how to determine comparison of methods for measurement 
moisture content needs research. 




treat direct-cut hay crop silage (moisture content Generally supported, research is variable 
> 70%) with chemical preservatives or add dry on consistency of results achieved. Cost- 
feedstuffs effectiveness needs more research. 


invert swaths when moisture content is above 40% Inverting assists the drying process, but leaf 
and rake hay at 30-40% moisture to maintain hay loss on some species can be high. Need 
quality research on different methods and cost 

effectiveness. 


bale field-cured hay at 15-20% moisture; bale at Strong support, but need more research on 
20-35% moisture if it is to be dried by forced air quality losses from field drying vs. costs for 

water transport and energy costs for forced- 
air drying. 




chop ensilage to a size appropriate for the storage Strong support 
structure that allows adequate packing 


Promote vigorous 
plant regrowth 


cut plants at a stage or interval that provides Strongly supported for upright perennial 
adequate food reserves and/or basal axillary tillers legumes and grasses. Moderate support for 
or buds for regrowth or reproduction without loss of prostrate species that use leaf area to provide 
plant vigor the major energy source. 

cut plants at a height that promotes vigor and Strong support for low cutting of alfalfa 
health of the desired species for yield, but not for soil erosion and some 

wildlife. 


Manage for desired 
species composition 


harvest at the proper height and frequency to Strong support on how height and frequency 
maintain desired species composition can affect species in the short term which 

would be useful as an adaptive management 

method. 


fertilize with appropriate minerals at the correct Strong support for use of N, P, and K and 
time in the growing season time during the season to alter the botanical 

composition. 



17 



TABLE ES.3. continued. 



Purpose of the practice 
standard 


Criteria used for assessing achievement 

of the purpose Support by research 


Use forage plant 
biomass as a soil 
nutrient uptake tool 


use a harvest regime that utilizes the maximum Moderate research on use of forage plants to 
amount of available or targeted nutrients utilize excess nutrients in cropping systems 

when desired, select species that can maximize Variation in nutrient uptake among species 
nutrient uptake is known, but balance is more critical than 

uptake of a single nutrient. 

use proper balance of nutrients such as nitrogen to Strong research support on N0 3 and HCN 
avoid toxic plant material for animals challenges in grasses. Some research on N 

on alkaloids in some cool-season grasses. 


Control insects, 
diseases and weeds 


select harvest periods to control disease, insect, Weak research support except for insects on 
and weed infestations alfalfa (weevils, potato leafhoppers). 

evaluate pest management options by planning Strong integrated pest management (IPM) 
conservation practice standard Pest Management research for alfalfa insects, but weak for other 
(595) species, need more research. 

lessen incidence of disease, insect damage, and Strong support for maintaining plant vigor 
weed infestation by managing for desirable plant and competition to reduce challenges 
viqor 


Maintain or improve 
wildlife habitat 


if suitable habitat for wildlife species is desired, Some support for delayed harvest of first cut 
appropriate harvest schedules(s), cover patterns, for ground nesters and leaving stubble for 
and plant height should be maintained to provide winter cover and food source; raise cut height 
suitable habitat for turtles. 


avoid harvest and other disturbances during Some research indicates biomass crops will 
nesting, fawning, and other critical times be harvested late and will provide habitat in 

summer and winter for some forms of wildlife. 



u 



Most purposes 
were supported 
moderately to 
strongly by the 
U.S. scientific 
literature." 



NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT chapter 5 



This USDA-NRCS practice standard focuses on managing the amount, source, placement, form, 
and timing of applications of plant nutrients and soil amendments. The practice applies to all 
lands where plant nutrients and soil amendments are applied. Purposes include the following: 

• To budget and supply nutrients for plant production 

• To utilize manure or organic byproducts as a plant nutrient source properly 

• To minimize agricultural non-point-source pollution of surface and ground water resources 

• To protect air quality by reducing nitrogen emissions (ammonia and NO x compounds) and 
the formation of atmospheric particulates 

• To maintain or improve the physical, chemical, and biological condition of soil 

Key Synthesis Findings (from Table ES. 4) 

• Most purposes were supported moderately to strongly by the U.S. scientific literature. 

• Several emerging areas of nutrient management require further research and development to 
ensure sustained and environmentally conscious pasture and hayland production. 

• Major concerns with manure or organic by-products are 1) uncertainty regarding 
phytoavailability of nutrients contained and 2) economic evaluations. 

• Simulation models, coupled with rapid determination of pools and rates of mineralizable N 
and P, and phytoavailable K in organic nutrient sources, could be powerful decision support 
tools to help optimize nutrient management in systems. 



18 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: New Foundations for Conservation Standards 



There are few data on costs, benefits, and cost effectiveness of available best management 

practices for retarding nutrient loss from pastures and haylands. 

A national P index is needed to predict losses of runoff P over a wide range of conditions. 

A national nitrate leaching index is needed that will accurately predict nitrate leaching losses 

over a wide range of conditions. 

Improved existing and new process models are needed to predict nutrient losses from 

divergent nutrient loadings, soil properties, and climatic conditions. 

Literature is scarce on reducing N emissions and formation of atmospheric particulates. Most 

U.S. research has been in the southeast; more is needed from other regions to fully evaluate 

effects of management on air quality. 

Less than 5% of N applied to U.S. pastures is lost to the atmosphere as gaseous N. 

Gaseous-N loss increases with increasing rates of applied N; losses are greater from organic-N 

sources than from inorganic-N sources. 

Pasture and hayland fertilization maintains or moderately improves soil organic matter 

concentration over the long term. 

Overapplication of N and P to pastures and haylands results in their buildup and may 

promote escape to surface and ground waters, and N escape to the atmosphere. 

Salt buildup in soils due to fertilization of pastures and haylands is typically of no 

consequence at current soil concentrations. 

Heavy metals accumulate in U.S. pasture and hayland soils where animal manures are 

applied, but at current soil levels do not influence pasture and hayland productivity. 

Long-term manure applications have a slight liming effect on pasture and hayland soils. 

No U.S. research was found relating soil physical properties to nutrient management of 

pastures or haylands. 

Current data are insufficient to interpret effects of nutrient cycling on pastures and 

interactions with grazing management and pasture fertilization. 



u 



A national 

P index is needed 

to predict losses 

of runoff P over 

a wide range of 

conditions." 



Implications: Most research is focused on plant productivity, usually of short 
duration, leaving a strong need for long-term research regarding impacts of 
nutrient management on soil, water, and air quality. This need is particularly 
evident for pastures and haylands where manures and other organic by-products 
are used as nutrient sources. Basic information and quick-test methods for nutrient 
release from organic nutrient sources need to be developed and standardized 




19 



u 



Code 590 should 
be separated into 
one focused on 
traditional crops, 
mainly annuals, 
and one focused 
on pastures and 
hayland." 



for use across the USA. Simulation models coupled with appropriate methods 
for rapid determination of pools and rates of mineralizable N and P, and 
phytoavailable K from organic nutrient sources, could provide powerful decision- 
support tools to optimize nutrient management. Phosphorus and N are the most 
common nutrient-related water pollutants. 

A national P-index and a nitrate leaching index would help planning by 
predicting runoff-P losses and nitrate leaching, respectively, over a wide range of 
conditions. Moreover, improvement of existing and development of new process 
models could predict nutrient losses from divergent nutrient loadings, forage or 
pasture species, soil properties, and climatic conditions. Once nutrient losses are 
defined the appropriate management practice can be implemented and impacts 
on other ecosystem services can be determined. 

Lastly, the practice standard revised in 201 1 covers some of these issues and is 
an improvement. But the wide difference in management practices and expected 
outcomes strongly indicates that Code 590 should be separated into one focused on 
traditional crops, mainly annuals, and one focused on pastures and hayland. This 
would allow more specific coverage of nutrient management during establishment 
and maintenance of long-term stands for production, forage quality, persistence, 
and provision of ecosystem services. The focus on pastures should consider stocking 
rates and grazing methods that affect nutrient cycling and times available for 
nutrient applications. The focused practice standard could emphasize perennial 
crops grown on lower-productivity sites that have more risk of runoff, yet have more 
potential for wildlife and other ecosystem benefits. The code should include riparian 
areas and waterways and other critical sites where forages play major roles. 



TABLE ES.4. Summary of purposes, criteria used for evaluation, and level of research support for Natural Resources Conservation Service 
Conservation Practice Standard for Nutrient Management, Code 590. 



Purposes of the practice 
standard 

Budget and supply 
nutrients for plant 
production 



Criteria for assessing achievement 
of the purpose 



by developing a nutrient management budget using all 
potential sources of nutrients, including crop residues, 
legume credits, and irrigation water 

by establishing realistic yield goals based on soil 
productivity information, historical yield data, climate, 
management, and local research 



Support by the literature 



Strong support for hayland, but need 
manure credits for pastures and research on 
phytoavailability. 

Moderate support, more research needed on 
lower quality land sites. 



by specifying the source, amount, timing, and method of 
applying nutrients to each yield goal while minimizing 
movement of nutrients and other potential contaminants 
to surface or ground waters 



Strong support for application ahead of 
growth, more research needed for offseason 
applications. 



by restricting direct application of nutrients to established 
minimum setbacks (e.g., sinkholes, wells, gullies, surface 
inlets, or rapidly permeable soil areas) 

address the amount of nutrients lost to erosion, runoff, 
drainage, and irrigation 

applications be based on current soil (within 5 yr) and 
tissue test results according to land grant university 
guidance 



Strong support, but mainly based intuitively 
from other studies. More research needed for 
pastures and haylands. 

Strong support that this is critical, but need 
more soils and sites, perhaps models. 



Moderate support, current soil tests do not 
report P or N indices. 



20 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: New Foundations for Conservation Standards 



TABLE ES.4. continued. 



Purposes of the practice 
standard 



Properly utilize manure 
or organic by-products 
as a plant nutrient 



Minimize agricultural 
nonpoint source 
pollution of surface 
and ground water 



Criteria for assessing achievement 
of the purpose 



by reducing animal stress and death from toxic or 
poisonous plants 



Support by the literature 



Moderate support, but not a major problem in 
humid areas. 



by improving and maintaining plant health and 
productivity 



by basing management on target levels of forage 
utilization or stubble height as a tool to help ensure goals 
are met 



Strong support, except on roles of organic 
by-products. 

Moderate support showing principles; little on 
specific management practices. 



by locating of feeding, watering, and handling facilities 
to improve animal distribution 



Strong support that would benefit from 
quantitative models to better define. 



by improving or maintaining riparian and watershed 
function 

by minimizing deposition or flow of animal wastes into 
water bodies 



Moderate support, research needed on more 
soils and sites. 

Strong support, but would benefit from models. 



by minimizing animal effects on stream bank stability Strong support. 



by providing adequate litter, ground cover and plant 
density to maintain or improve infiltration capacity of the 
vegetation 

by providing ground cover and plant density to maintain 
or improve filtering capacity of the vegetation 



Strong support in concept, but responses need 
to be quantified for a range of soils and sites. 



Strong support, but responses need to be 
quantified for a range of species and mixtures. 



Protect air quality 
by reducing nitrogen 
emissions (ammonia 
and NOx compounds) 
and formation 
of atmospheric 
particulates. 



Maintain or improve 
physical, chemical, 
and biological 
condition of the soil. 



by minimizing concentrated livestock areas, trailing, and Strong support and a range of practices to 
trampling to reduce soil compaction, excess runoff, and minimize soil damage, but few to restore soil 

erosion condition. 



by reducing accelerated soil erosion 



by minimizing concentrated livestock areas to enhance 
nutrient distribution and improve ground cover 



by improving carbon sequestration in biomass and soils 



by application of soil nutrients according to soil test to 
improve or maintain plant vigor 

by applying and managing nutrients in a manner that 
maintains or improves the physical, chemical, and 
biological condition of the soil 

by minimizing the use of nutrient sources with high salt 
content unless provisions are made to leach salts below 
the crop root zone 

by not applying nutrients when the potential for soil 
compaction and rutting is high 



Strong support, would benefit from use of 
models. 



Strong support, but needs to be integrated 
with plants and their growth habits. 



Strong support, would benefit from use of 
models to quantify relationships. 



Strong support for most monocultures, need 
more research on mixtures. 

Strong support intuitively based on annual 
crops, but needs verification using long-term 
perennials. 



Strong support, but it does not appear to be a 
problem unless excess rates applied. 



No support, research needed because 
perennials can become compacted, but are 
not tilled. 



21 







u 



Many studies 
were conducted 
for only 2 or 
3 yr, which 
is insufficient 
for ecological 
adjustment to 
achieve a near 
steady state" 



SYNOPSIS AND PERSPECTIVES chapter 6 



Following the focused assessment on the conservation standards, a general cross-cutting overview 
was developed that also included a futuristic perspective. 

General Findings 

Nearly all studies were conducted on pastures or field plots on good soils with little 

consideration of topographic features or potential to transfer the response and environmental 

data to the landscape or watershed level. 

Many studies were conducted for only 2 or 3 yr, which is insufficient for ecological 

adjustment to achieve a near steady state for conditions being evaluated. 

Specific growth characteristics of most pasture and hayland species are known, but field 

responses were not always consistent with expectations, whether plant types were harvested 

mechanically or by grazing. 

Cost effectiveness of implementing a conservation standard was rarely considered in terms of 

returns to the land owner or values of ecosystem benefits for the landowner and public. 

No research was found that evaluated the production and ecosystem costs that would accrue 

if the practice was not implemented. 

In many cases the literature showed that a certain management scheme would improve 

economic productivity, yet the practice may not deliver desired ecosystem services. 



22 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: New Foundations for Conservation Standards 



Very rarely was management designed to provide cost of environmental or ecosystem services 

relative to income from production of forage or animal product. 

When research is minimal or not available, implementation of a practice depends largely on 

experience and knowledge of local conditions from agency personnel. 

Little research assesses practices that reduce risk of failure; such research is needed to calculate 

costs during practice implementation. 

Authors sought research on emerging and future ecosystem interests; usually new methods 

were suggested to get more or better information to quantify the responses. 

The standards are updated about every 5 yr, but new technologies, especially analytical 

methods, and increased public interest in ecosystem outputs change more rapidly. 

Future research should be longer term and more comprehensive; however, this will exacerbate 

the time lag from perceived need to having the correct data to address the need. 

Ecosystem services need to be explicit in future standards to provide more focus. 

Most practices are considered long term and would benefit from monitoring the success 

on a periodic basis and providing assistance on using adaptive management to correct 

shortcomings. 

The agency will benefit from public education and widespread success stories. 



u 



Models will 

help in planning 

conservation 

practices and 

determining 

variables to 

monitor while 

the practice is 

operational. 



Implications: Evaluation teams assessed a single practice standard in a professional 
manner. There was good science support for most purposes and criteria, especially 
on factors affecting production. Unfortunately, because of a lack of credible 
methodologies and priority for determining value of services, the research over 
the past few decades used to develop production practices was rarely coupled 
with quantifiable measures or comparisons with economic or social values of the 
conservation practices or ecosystem services. The teams also could not evaluate 
expected or desired durations of effective functioning after the practice was 
implemented. Some newer publications addressed the more comprehensive issues. 

Future criteria for practice standards for multiple purposes should explain expected 
outcomes more quantitatively, as well as provide estimates of the lifetime of the practice 
assuming adaptive management. Monitoring of practices to ensure they are working, 
and then using adaptive management to assist the landowner correct and extend 
the life of the practice will help maintain credibility and increase cost effectiveness 
to demonstrate fiscal responsibility. Is it more cost and outcome effective to have one 
practice that lasts 20 yr or to have two sites of the same practice that each last 1 
yr? Models will help in planning conservation practices and determining variables 
to monitor while the practice is operational. The model could also guide adaptive 
management toward the most cost-effective way to restore or maintain the practice. 

There are many facets involved in the analyses of a practice and the outcomes are 
not always consistent through the life of a practice. For example, ecosystem risks 
during establishment may be very high for a species that has relatively low risk 
when established. Therefore, using forage plantings for a longer time in a rotation 
or managing to extend the life of a quality pasture reduces the amount of reseeding 
occurring each year to establish new stands. And one management approach for 
riparian areas may favor water quality over certain wildlife species, whereas another 
approach may favor wildlife over water quality. Keeping a pasture shorter may favor 
some ground-nesting species, but have increased runoff and effects on water quality 
and fish in a nearby stream. Models may help in understanding the interactions and 
give guidance to trade-offs and optimizing the solution. 

Overall, it is imperative to understand expanding public goals and expectations 
from agriculture, beyond food, to management of natural resources in a sustainable 
way. As personal incomes increase, public expectations will continue to expand 



23 



from having sufficient food to having it produced in a way that first preserves the 
environment and then provides other ecosystem services, especially for social issues 
and wildlife. Each step usually leads to higher food costs that are recognized and 
accepted. Already there are major issues emerging as agricultural and public 
priorities including pending climate change, water quantity and quality issues, biofuel 
issues, energy needs for food supplies, and values of environmental and ecosystem 
services. It is not known how much the public will pay for these. 

With modern access to electronic information sources, improved media coverage of 
issues, and social media, both the public and agricultural community will usually be 
aware of emerging issues and likely will develop strong opinions before sufficient 
research has been conducted. The U.S. citizenry is already moving rapidly along 
this continuum; the challenge will be to stay ahead of the movement, because it 
will take even more years to develop the research base and recommendations. 
Intermediate-term solutions will depend on educated and talented agency personnel 
who can provide credible science-based recommendations until more specific data 
are assembled and evaluated. Success stories abound and should be used in public 
educational programs as USDA-NRCS adopts and implements the new foundations 
for conservation standards. 




24 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 




WglfW 



CHAPTER 



Pastureland and Hayland in the 

USA: Land Resources, Conservation 

Practices, and Ecosystem Services 

Matt A. Sanderson, 1 Leonard W. Jolley, 2 and James P. Dobrowolski 3 

Authors are 'Research Leader, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)- 

Agricultural Research Service, Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, 

Mandan, ND; 2 Rangeland and Pastureland Ecologist (retired), USDA- 

National Resources Conservation Service, Resource Inventory and 

Assessment Division, Beltsville, MD; and 3 National Program Leader, USDA- 

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Washington, DC. 

Corrrespondence: Matt Sanderson, 

USDA-ARS PO Box 459, Mandan, ND 58554 

matt.sanderson@ars.usda.gov 



Reference to any commercial product or service is made with the understanding 
that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by USDA is implied 



u 



Government agencies 
increasingly are 
tasked to account for 
money invested in 
conservation 



» 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



Pastureland and Hayland in the 
USA: Land Resources, Conservation 
Practices, and Ecosystem Services 



Matt A. Sanderson, Leonard Jolley, and James P. Dobrowolski 



Forage, grasslands, and grazing lands constitute 
more than two-thirds of all agricultural land in 
the USA. Indeed, some view these lands as "the 
cornerstone of all agriculture" (Wedin and Fales, 
2009). Pasture and hayland account for 73 mil- 
lion ha in the USA (Figs. 1.1 and 1.2) and provide 
several ecosystem goods and services. Increasing 
and sustaining these ecosystem goods and ser- 
vices (e.g., conserving and protecting soil, water, 
and air resources) usually requires the invest- 
ment of public resources. Government agencies 
increasingly are tasked to account for money 
invested in conservation policies, programs, and 
practices in quantitative terms of environmen- 
tal outcomes (e.g., how much has water qual- 
ity or soil quality been improved?) rather than 
simple numeric metrics (e.g., kilometers of fence 
installed, hectares of land treated). Although not 
perfected, there are methods being developed 
and evaluated to quantify the outcome in mon- 
etary values (Brookshire et al., 2010). 

The Conservation Effects Assessment Project 
(CEAP) is a multiagency effort to quantify scien- 
tifically the environmental outcomes of conser- 
vation practices used by private landowners that 
are supported by U.S. Department of Agricul- 
ture (USD A) and other conservation programs 
(Duriancik et al., 2008). The purpose of CEAP is 
to "help policy makers and program managers 
implement existing and design new conservation 
programs to more effectively and efficiently meet 
the goals of U.S. Congress and the Administra- 
tion" (James and Cox, 2008). Outcomes from 
CEAP will also inform scientists and practition- 
ers of policy needs and expectations of policy 
makers to account for the ecosystem services 
and environmental outcomes intended by spe- 
cific conservation practices. In addition, CEAP 
will shed light on gaps in scientific knowledge 
needed to support conservation outcomes and 
provide insight as to how to attack researchable 
problems regarding these practices. 



Principal components of CEAP include 1) a 
national assessment of conservation practices, 
2) studies of conservation practices up to the 
watershed level, and 3) detailed bibliographies 
and syntheses of scientific literature regarding 
environmental outcomes of specific conserva- 
tion practices. Assessments were conducted 
within three main agroecological resource areas: 
croplands, wetlands, and grazing lands, includ- 
ing effects on wildlife in each. These assessments 
contribute to determining the effectiveness of 
current programs and the process of building the 
science base for conservation, which includes 
research, monitoring and data collection, and 
modeling (Duriancik et al., 2008). 

Earlier CEAP literature syntheses focused on 
cropland and wildlife. The cropland synthesis 
documented the environmental outcomes of 
soil, water, nutrient, and pest management 
conservation practices applied to rain-fed and 
irrigated cropland (Schnepf and Cox, 2006). 
A follow-up literature synthesis focused on 
multidisciplinary analyses of achieving realistic 
cropland conservation goals at watershed and 
landscape scales (Schnepf and Cox, 2007). The 
wildlife synthesis focused on the Conservation 
Reserve Program (CRP) and its resultant effects 
on fish and wildlife (Haufler, 2005, 2007). 

Because most CRP land is grassland, the 
conclusions and recommendations from the 
wildlife syntheses are particularly relevant to 
managed forage and grasslands. For example, 
grassland managed for the CRP has benefited 
grassland birds, especially in the Great Plains 
(Johnson, 2005). Grassland in CRP, however, 
often is cut one or two times for weed con- 
trol, but not harvested (except for hay during 
drought emergencies), which differs in tim- 
ing of cutting and residue management from 
normal pasture and hayland practices. This dif- 
ference restricts direct transfer of management 




The total economic value of 
forage and grasslands that 
support ruminant animal 
production is estimated at 
about $45 billion annually. 
Photo: USDA. 



CHAPTER l: Pastureland and Hayland in the USA 



1.1 



Transition Zone 




95% 01 more Federal Area 



Total Hectares of Pasturelatid 47 353.964 



FIGURE 1.1. Area of pastureland in different regions of the USA. See Table 1 for 
states grouped into the temperate (cool season) region, transition zone, and the 
southeast and subtropical regions. Source: USDA-NRCS (2003). 



1.2 



Transition Zone 




United states Total: 34870,236 Hectares 



FIGURE 1.2. Area of forage/hayland in different regions of the USA. Source: USDA- 
NASS (2009). 

effects on ecosystem services from CRP land to 
hay and pasture areas. 

In this literature synthesis, individual chap- 
ters address four USDA-National Resources 
Conservation Service conservation practices: 
forage and biomass planting (practice standard 



512; formerly pasture and hayland planting), 
prescribed grazing (practice standard 528), 
forage harvest management (practice stan- 
dard 511), and nutrient management (practice 
standard 590). As a prelude to the chapters on 
individual conservation practices, in this chapter 
we describe pasture and hayland resources in 
the USA, including national trends; touch on the 
history of conservation practices on pasture and 
hayland; and introduce key conservation chal- 
lenges on pasture and hayland. 

PASTURE AND HAYLAND: EXTENT 
AND VALUE 

Pastureland is "land devoted to the production 
of indigenous or introduced forage for harvest 
by grazing, cutting, or both" (Allen et al., 2011). 
There are 48.5 million ha of pastureland in the 
USA (Fig. 1.1) and 25.1 million ha of land used 
for production of hay and other conserved 
forage (except row crops for silage) (Fig. 1.2; 
USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service 
[NASS], 2009). Pastureland is concentrated in 
the humid eastern half of the USA (east of 99° 
longitude; Vough, 1990; Barnes and Nelson, 
2003), whereas land for production of hay and 
other conserved forage is distributed more 
broadly across the USA (Figs. 1.1 and 1.2). In 
addition, there are about 1 million ha of irrigated 
pastureland in the western USA. Alaska has 
4000 ha of pastureland and 8100 ha of hayland. 
Hawaii has 15,000 ha of pastureland, and Puerto 
Rico has 70,000 ha. 

Cool-season temperate forage and grasslands 
occupy much of the northeastern USA, the lake 
states, midwest, and parts of the northern Great 
Plains. This includes the traditional dairy regions 
of the upper midwest and the northeast, along 
with significant production of beef cattle with 
lesser production of small ruminants (sheep 
and goats) and horses. Cool-season perennial 
forages such as orchardgrass (scientific names 
of all plant species used in this chapter are given 
in Appendix III), alfalfa, smooth bromegrass, 
and white clover predominate in this region. 
Moving southward, the vegetation changes to 
include more warm-season species in an area 
often referred to as the transition zone between 
the cool-temperate and subtropical grassland 
regions. This zone includes the tall fescue belt, 
with about 10 million ha of tall fescue that is 
often overseeded with red clover and managed 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



M. A. Sanderson, L. Jolley, and J. P. Dobrowolski 



TABLE 1.1. Number of grazing livestock in states within climatic regions of the eastern USA. 
(USDA-NASS, 2009). 



State 


Cattle and 
calves 


Horses and 
ponies 


Sheep and 
lambs 


Goats 


Temperate (cool-season) region 


Connecticut 


50,200 


11,500 


5800 


4600 


Illinois 


1,231,000 


79,500 


52,400 


33,700 


Indiana 


875,400 


81,200 


49,000 


47,100 


Iowa 


3,982,000 


71,200 


209,300 


56,000 


Maine 


88,200 


12,200 


10,900 


5900 


Massachusetts 


46,800 


20,600 


11,800 


8200 


Michigan 


1,048,200 


101,100 


81,700 


27,800 


Minnesota 


2,395,200 


90,100 


144,600 


36,800 


Nebraska 1 


3,342,000 


33,500 


52,700 


15,000 


New Hampshire 


36,900 


9900 


7700 


3900 


New Jersey 


38,200 


30,100 


14,800 


10,600 


New York 


1,443,300 


85,000 


63,200 


39,900 


North Dakota 1 


674,000 


16,800 


39,000 


1500 


Ohio 


1,272,400 


119,200 


123,200 


69,500 


Pennsylvania 


1,609,100 


116,300 


96,900 


59,200 


Rhode Island 


5100 


3500 


1500 


700 


South Dakota 1 


2,570,000 


35,600 


200,400 


4500 


Vermont 


264,800 


13,300 


13,900 


6600 


Wisconsin 


3,373,900 


1 20,000 


89,600 


55,900 


Region total 


24,346,700 


1,050,600 


1,268,400 


487,400 


Transition zone 


Arkansas 


1,802,600 


79,000 


15,300 


50,600 


Delaware 


21,000 


4000 


900 


3500 


Kansas 2 


3,335,000 


71,300 


60,700 


27,400 


Kentucky 


2,395,400 


1 75,500 


37,000 


98,200 


Maryland 


190,500 


30,700 


22,100 


1 6,900 


Missouri 


4,292,700 


149,200 


77,000 


96,400 


North Carolina 


820,200 


78,400 


27,700 


98,400 


Oklahoma 2 


1,680,000 


1 27,600 


51,500 


61,500 


Tennessee 


2,122,000 


142,000 


29,800 


1 3 1 ,000 


Virginia 


1,566,200 


90,400 


77,600 


63,100 


West Virginia 


411,000 


37,700 


38,300 


27,900 


Region total 


18,636,600 


985,800 


437,900 


543,900 


Southeast/subtropical region 


Alabama 


1,187,200 


87,100 


1 6,900 


80,400 


Georgia 


1,117,100 


76,700 


11,300 


84,000 


Louisiana 


878,700 


60,500 


8700 


21,600 


Mississippi 


987,300 


65,300 


8400 


30,600 


Florida 


1,711,000 


120,600 


1 3,000 


57,700 


South Carolina 


401,000 


43,300 


7900 


43,900 


Texas 2 


5,110,000 


231,000 


60,700 


365,000 


Region total 


11,392,300 


684,500 


126,900 


683,200 


Eastern U.S. total 


54,375,600 


2,720,900 


1,833,200 


1,714,500 


Contiguous U.S. total 


96,347,900 


4,028,800 


5,812,200 


3,140,500 



u 



CEAP will shed 

light on gaps 

in scientific 

knowledge" 



1 Data from counties east of the 99th meridian . 2 Data from counties east of the 97th meridian . 



CHAPTER l: Pastureland and Hayland in the USA 



u 



In contrast with 
rangeland, 
pastureland 
management 
is relatively 
intensive and 
technology 
based" 



mainly for beef cattle production. The south- 
eastern region (along with Hawaii and Puerto 
Rico) relies heavily on warm-season grasses such 
as bermudagrass and bahiagrass, along with 
cool-season annual legumes and grasses (e.g., ar- 
rowleaf clover and annual ryegrass) to fill forage 
gaps in autumn and winter. 

Of the 109 million head of livestock that utilize 
forage and grazing land in the USA, about 61 mil- 
lion head are in the eastern half (Table 1.1). Ap- 
proximately 45% of these eastern livestock are in 
the cool-temperate region, 34% in the transition 
zone, and 21% in the southeast and subtropical 
region. Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico account 
for about 400,000 head of grazing livestock. 

In contrast with rangeland, pastureland man- 
agement is relatively intensive and technology 
based, commonly with inputs of seeds, fertil- 
izers, and pesticides. Most plant species present 
are not native, and pastureland may be periodi- 
cally renovated or replanted by a variety of tech- 
niques. Stocking densities on pastureland vary 
from 0.7 to 2 ha per grazing animal (Burns and 
Bagley, 1996). By contrast, rangelands predomi- 
nate in the drier western half of the USA, with a 
few exceptions such as the flatwoods rangeland 
of Florida, longleaf pine grassland in Alabama 
and Louisiana, and scattered areas of fragmented 
native grasslands. 

The traditional goods from forage and grazing 
lands include food, feed, fiber, forest products, 
milk, and meat. The total economic value of for- 
age and grasslands used in ruminant animal pro- 
duction is estimated at about $44 billion (Table 
1.2). Hay and other conserved forage production 
account for $18 billion of farm income (USDA- 



NASS, 2009). In addition, there are numerous 
ecosystem services provided by forage and 
grazing lands, including reduced soil erosion and 
improvements in water quality, wildlife habitat, 
and air quality. There often is little or no direct 
economic return to the land manager, yet society 
is rapidly recognizing that the intrinsic values of 
these ecosystem services are important for the 
public good and that there is a need for them to 
be provided. 

NATIONAL TRENDS IN FORAGE AND 
GRAZING LANDS 

The estimated 238 million ha of permanent 
grassland pasture and rangeland account for 26% 
of all U.S. land and half of the agricultural land 
(Lubowski et al., 2006). Adding cropland used as 
pasture (25 million ha), woodland grazing land 
(54 million ha), and that harvested for conserved 
forage (25 million ha) to the permanent grass- 
land area indicates total forage and grazing land 
equals about 342 million ha, or 38% of the total 
U.S. land area and more than two-thirds of all 
agricultural land (Lubowski et al., 2006). This 
total does not include land grazed before or after 
crops were harvested. 

About 7% of the total permanent grassland 
pasture and rangeland is in the eastern half of 
the USA (Fig. 1.3). In the humid south, crop- 
land pasture and forested grazing predominate. 
Nationwide, grazed woodland includes open- 
canopy forest, land reverting to forest, and other 
woodlands that contain grazable grass or other 
forage. Grazable woodlands dominate parts of 
the humid south as a function of productivity 
potential, demand for grazing land, understory 
species composition during expansive growth 



TABLE 1.2. Forage value in livestock diets in the USA. Adapted to 2008 cash receipts from Barnes and Nelson (2003). 



Animal type 


Feed costs as a 
proportion of 
receipts 


Proportion of feed 
units fed as forage 


Forage value as 
proportion of feed 
costs' 


2008 cash receipts 2 


Forage value 3 


Billions of dollars 


Beef cattle 


0.70 


0.83 


0.581 


48.2 


28.0 


Sheep+wool 


0.70 


0.91 


0.637 


0.45 


0.29 


Dairy cattle (milk) 


0.50 


0.61 


0.305 


34.8 


10.6 


Horses 4 


0.7 


0.6 


0.42 


11.8 


5.0 


Goats 


0.7 


0.9 


0.63 


0.25 


0.16 


Total forage value 


44.0 



'Calculated as column 2 multiplied by column 3. 2 USDA-NASS [2009). 3 Calculated as 2008 cash receipts [column 5) multiplied by value in column 4. 4 American Horse Council 
(available at http://www.horsecouncil.org/nationaleconomics.php [verified 24 Jan. 201 1 ]). 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



M. A. Sanderson, L. Jolley, and J. P. Dobrowolski 



of the trees, and density of overstory. On the 
southern and southeastern coastal plains wood- 
land values are enhanced by grazing open stands 
of pine almost year-round in many climatic 
regimes. Upland hardwoods with dense cano- 
pies, typically covering the northeast region of 
the USA, produce less forage; however, these 
landscapes at times may be grazed. 

During 1997-2002, cropland pasture decreased 
1%, reducing total grazed area by 2.4 million ha, 
about a third of this via conversion to CRP land. 
Approximately 1.6 million ha changed from 
pasture to forest. Cropland pasture, permanent 
pasture, and rangeland decreased by 5.3 million 
ha, which was about 55% of the total loss of 9.7 
million ha of agricultural land identified in the 
National Resources Inventory (USDA-NRCS, 
2003). Cropland used for pasture is typically part 
of a rotation between crop and pasture use, with 
variable rotation periods. Two-thirds of the 25 
million ha of cropland pasture were located in 
the southern plains, corn belt, northern plains, 
and Appalachian regions. Much of the cropland 
pasture in the south and plains states occurs on 
more marginal lands. 

Trends in pasture, rangeland, cropland, and 
woodland used for grazing indicate that total 
grazing land decreased by about 108.5 million 
ha (about 25%) from 1945 to 2002 (Lubowski 
et al., 2006). This land-use change may reflect 
a transition to urban, recreational, wildlife, and 
environmental land uses. One exception to the 
long-term trend is that permanent pastureland 
increased by 0.8 million ha in the southeastern 
USA, mostly from land classified previously as 
grazable woodland. In other parts of the USA, 
grazable woodlands decreased by nearly 58%. 
This long decline in grazable woodland might 
be explained by fewer and larger farms, greater 
woodland canopy density, and greater efficiencies 
in both livestock and woodland management. All 
of these factors have been especially important in 
the southeastern USA, where high proportions of 
woodland are grazed (Lubowski et al., 2006). 

HISTORY OF CONSERVATION 
PRACTICES ON PASTURE AND 
HAYLAND 

Water runoff and some associated soil loss from 
agricultural land have been observed for cen- 
turies, but the soil loss was not quantified. But 



Shares of land in major uses, 48 contiguous United States, 2002 




fm, v -^- 



&*■ 



o ■ k : mjf 



Land -use shares 

7J C'opland 



\ 



'v /-3 



| Grassland pasture and 'arxje 

I Forest use and 

I Specia jses. urban and other land 






SJI 



..-.-*- 




Note. The sze of the pie Chans is proportional to th« land area >r each 5"ate. Sha'es fer Alaska are 25% in 
fcres:-Lse land. 75% in specal jses/Lrbar/orhe 1 ' lane, and ess thai 0.5\ in al oiler uses. Sha'es Fcr Hawaii are 
5% in crocland. 26% in g'asslans pasture ard rarge 38% r Forest use. anc 33% in specia Lse&'urban.'otner 
land. 

FIGURE 1.3. Proportions of cropland, grassland pasture, and range, forest-use land, 
and other land in the 48 contiguous states (Lubowski et al., 2006). Used with 
permission. 



when measured, it was learned that pasture and 
hayland were much more effective in reducing 
runoff and associated soil loss than were row 
crops. Federal conservation practices developed 
and applied to cropland and to pasture and 
hayland date back to the 1930s, which paralleled 
the beginning of government agencies such as 
the USDA-NRCS (Bennett, 1939; Helms, 1990). 
Early prescribed practices focused on reduc- 
ing overgrazing on pasture and rangeland. The 
theme of grassland agriculture using permanent 
vegetation as a conservation practice, using hay- 
land in crop rotations, and applying conserva- 
tion practices to pastures and hayland emerged 
in the 1930s and runs through several influential 
college textbooks on pasture and forage manage- 
ment (e.g., Wheeler, 1950; Hughes et al, 1951; 
Miller, 1984; Barnes et al, 2003, 2007). 

Research on conservation practices also dates 
back to the 1930s with the establishment of soil 
conservation experiment stations and collabo- 
ration between the Soil Conservation Service 
(progenitor of the USDA-NRCS) and the Bureau 
of Agricultural Economics (progenitor of the 
USD A Economic Research Service [ERS]) to 
assess benefits of conservation practices. Some 
of this research was documented in early USD A 
bulletins (e.g., Hoover, 1939; Bennett, 1951; Dale 



CHAPTER l: Pastureland and Hayland in the USA 



and Brown, 1955). During the 1970s, the Clean 
Water Act stimulated research on conservation 
practices to protect water quality. 

Despite several decades of improving manage- 
ment on pasture and haylands through use of 
conservation practices, significant conserva- 
tion issues remain and new ones have emerged. 
There are an estimated 30 million ha of pasture 
and hayland in the USA that would provide 
greater environmental benefits from some form 
of conservation treatment, such as prescribed 
grazing, pasture/hayland planting, and nutrient 
management (USDA-NRCS, 2004). Conservation 
practices to protect soil and water resources are a 
critical part of pasture and hayland management 
because much of this land is sloping, is classified 
as marginal for cropland, and has a small margin 
for error in management (Helms, 1997). 

RESOURCE CONCERNS ON PASTURE 
AND HAYLAND 

The principal resource concerns addressed in 
conservation programs include soil, water, air, 
plants, animals, and human resources (USDA- 
NRCS, 2010a). In addition, efficiency of en- 
ergy use recently has been added to this list of 
resource concerns because of the costs of energy 



250 


Forage and biomass planting 


Prescribed grazing 






200 - 




^H 






m 150 - 














CO 

o 100 














-C 








"S 50 - 




























en 

1 o 

$250 
















■ 










Forage harvest management 


Nutrient management 


o 

-i= 200 - 






150 










100 


















50 - 























I I 


^_ 











Temperate Transition Southeast Temperate Transition Southeast 

FIGURE 1.4. Pasture and hayland area in three principal regions of the USA to 
which selected USDA-NRCS conservation practices were applied in 2010. Data 
for prescribed grazing and nutrient management practices are for pastureland only. 
Regions are defined in Table 1.1. Data are from the USDA-NRCS performance 
reporting system. 



and the new role of agriculture in producing 
renewable energy. 

Mismanagement of pasture and hayland can 
reduce production and profit and harm the en- 
vironment. For example, poor nutrient manage- 
ment on pastureland is estimated to contribute 
37% of the phosphorus load from the Mississippi 
river basin into the Gulf of Mexico (Alexander 
et al., 2008). Grazing management that exceeds 
sustainable carrying capacity can degrade veg- 
etation, enhance runoff, and impair water quality 
(Agouridis et al., 2005). 

The 2008 Farm Bill outlines several voluntary 
programs that target resource concerns and con- 
servation on forage and grazing lands, including: 

Conservation of Private Grazing Lands (CPGL). 
Provides technical assistance to owners and 
managers of private grazing lands to implement 
grazing land management technologies, pro- 
tect water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat, 
among other goals. 

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). 
Compensates farmers for undertaking additional 
conservation activities and improving, main- 
taining, and managing existing conservation 
activities. 

Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program 
(FRPP). Aids local governments and nongovern- 
mental organizations with purchasing conserva- 
tion easements to protect agricultural use and 
related conservation values of land. 

Grassland Reserve Program (GRP). Protects and 
restores grassland. 

Environmental Quality Incentives Program 
(EQIP). Provides financial incentives to farmers 
to promote agricultural production and environ- 
mental quality as compatible goals. The program 
has placed added emphasis on organic produc- 
tion, including assistance for grazing systems. 

These programs pay (or provide cost share) 
farmers to implement various conservation 
practices to address specific resource concerns. 
Of the four USDA-NRCS conservation practices 
addressed in this publication, prescribed grazing 
was the most widely applied practice during 
2010 (Fig. 1.4). Prescribed grazing was applied 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



M. A. Sanderson, L. Jolley, and J. P. Dobrowolski 





^m 



to a total of 640,491 ha of pastureland with 41% 
of that area in the southeast, 32% in the temper- 
ate region, 20% in the transition region, and 7% 
in the western states. The greater application of 
prescribed grazing in the southeast may indicate 
that pastures (soils, stands of desired species) are 
more degraded, the growing season is longer and 
often year-round, and forage species are better 
adapted to rotational stocking than in other 
regions. There may also be more cost-share 
funding available for a high number of small 
farms in this region. The forage and biomass 
planting practice was applied predominantly in 
the temperate region where legumes are in short 
rotations and they suffer from winter injury. For- 
age harvest management was applied mostly in 
the transition region. The nutrient management 
practice was applied nearly entirely in the south- 
east and transition regions, perhaps because 
of the frequent use of poultry litter and other 
animal manures on pastures in these regions see 
(Wood et al., Chapter 5, this volume). 

Comparable recent data were not available on 
the amount of government support for each of 



Early conservation efforts on 
grazing lands started during 
the dust bowl days of the 
1930s. Photo: USDA. 



512 

Pasture 
Hayland 
Planting 



511 

Forage 
Harvest 
Management 



528 

Prescribed 

Grazing 



590 590 

Nutrient Nutrient 
Management Management 
(all) Forage/Hay 

only 



FIGURE 1.5. Government payments made for 
selected conservation practices implemented in 
the states east of the Missouri River as part of the 
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). 
The EQIP program accounts for most of the NRCS 
conservation practice payments in the eastern USA. 
Data are totals for the years 2004-2008. Data for 
590 nutrient management (all) apply to all classes 
of livestock and land uses. The data for 590 
nutrient management (forage/hay land) apply only 
to forage and hayland use. Information provided 
by the Agriculture and Environment Program of Tufts 
University, Boston, MA. 



CHAPTER l: Pastureland and Hayland in the USA 




> 



> 



f 



k 



**!* 












Hay and other conserved 
forage production in the USA 
accounts annually for $ 1 8 
billion of agricultural receipts. 
Photo: USDA. 



the four practices by region across all NRCS 
programs. Available information on funding for 
the Environmental Quality Incentives (EQIP) 
program during 2004-2008 in the eastern 
USA, however, shows that most of the funding 
supported forage and biomass planting (stan- 
dard 512; formerly pasture and hayland plant- 
ing; Barker et al., Chapter 2, this volume) and 
prescribed grazing (Fig. 1.5). Although about 
$40 million went to nutrient management for all 



classes of livestock and land uses in the eastern 
USA, only $8.2 million of that amount could 
be attributed specifically to forage and hayland 
use. Only about $500,000 went to forage harvest 
management. 

PRODUCTION CONCERNS ON PASTURE 
AND HAYLAND 

Agriculture in the USA has changed dramati- 
cally since the early 20th century, with fewer 
but larger farms, higher capital costs, and a 
greater reliance on technology (Sheaffer et al, 
2009). Forage and grasslands also are viewed as 
important sources of biomass feedstock for use 
in producing renewable energy (Sanderson et 
al., 2009). Despite these changes, the produc- 
tion concerns of primary interest for pasture 
and hayland are little changed and include 
generating adequate amounts of forage of an 
acceptable nutritive value to sustain various 
classes of livestock and generate a profit for the 
farmer. The latter concern is uppermost in the 
farmer's mind, especially when prices of agri- 
cultural outputs are low and volatile. 

Adopting and improving grassland manage- 
ment practices can lower production costs and 
improve the farmer's net income (Sheaffer et al., 
2009). Forage yields have increased minimally 
over the past 50 yr, but there have been small 
increases in forage quality and improvements in 
grazing management (Nelson and Burns, 2006). 
There have also been advancements in reducing 
stored forage needs for beef cows by extending 
the grazing season by using deferred grazing, 
improved nutrient management, and over- 
seeding cool-season species into warm-season 
pastures in the south. 

To achieve production goals, the farmer may 
replant forage stands with better adapted, more 
productive, or higher-quality species and variet- 
ies; enhance soil fertility through applications of 
commercial fertilizer or livestock manure; mod- 
ify the harvest or grazing management to opti- 
mize utilization; or control invasive and destruc- 
tive weeds and pests. Each of these management 
interventions has implications regarding the 
soil, water, air, plant, animal, human, and energy 
resources in the system. For example, renovat- 
ing pastures or hay fields via tillage may pose 
soil-erosion risks; poor timing and placement of 
nutrients from fertilizer or manure may increase 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



M. A. Sanderson, L. Jolley, and J. P. Dobrowolski 



runoff or leaching from fields; and intensifying 
grazing or harvest management may reduce 
vegetation cover or change the plant community 
composition. Thus, it is critical that land manag- 
ers consider how to make conservation practices 
an integral part of their pastureland and hayland 
management plan to achieve production and 
conservation goals simultaneously. 

Emerging Emphasis on Ecosystem 
Services of Pasture and Hayland 

Forage and grasslands have long been recog- 
nized for multiple services such as soil conser- 
vation, water-quality protection, and pleasing 
aesthetics, among many others (e.g., see USDA, 
1948). These multiple services are now recog- 
nized in the concepts of ecosystem functions and 
ecosystem services, which have received much 
attention (Daily et al, 1997; Lemaire et al., 2005; 
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). 
Ecosystem functions are the "habitat, biological, 
or system properties or processes of ecosys- 
tems," whereas ecosystem goods and services 
include the "benefits human populations derive, 
directly or indirectly, from ecosystem functions" 
(Costanza et al., 1997). Ecosystem goods and 
services have been classified into four main cat- 
egories: 1) provisioning services, which include 
products from ecosystems such as food, fiber, 
and fuel; 2) supporting services, such as primary 
production and nutrient cycling that enable all 
other ecosystem services; 3) regulating services 
such as climate and flood regulation; and 4) 
cultural services, which include nontangibles 
such as aesthetic, spiritual, educational, or rec- 
reational experiences (Fig. 1.6). These concepts 
are often discussed in the context of multifunc- 
tionality, which refers to the joint production 
of goods (e.g., agricultural commodities) and 
ecosystem services (Jordan et al., 2007). 

Currently, the USDA-NRCS Conservation Stew- 
ardship Program rewards farmers for managing 
land for multiple ecosystem services, such as 
soil conservation, water-quality protection, and 
carbon (C) sequestration (USDA-NRCS, 2010b). 
The USDA National Organic Standards empha- 
size pasture utilization not only for feed produc- 
tion but also for animal well-being and product 
quality (USDA- Agricultural Marketing Service 
[AMS], 2010). And, the final rule for the Grass- 
land Reserve Program explicitly defines eco- 
system services from grasslands as "Functions 
and values of grasslands and shrublands means 



ecosystem services provided including: domes- 
tic animal productivity, biological productivity, 
plant and animal richness and diversity and 
abundance, fish and wildlife habitat (including 
habitat for pollinators and native insects), water 
quality and quantity benefits, aesthetics, open 
space, and recreation" (Federal Register, 2009). 

It is clear that forage and grazing lands increas- 
ingly are expected to provide ecosystem services 
beyond the traditional provision of food, feed, 
and fiber (Sanderson et al., 2009). A partial 
list of potential ecosystem functions, goods, 
and services from pastureland is in Table 1.3. 
Forage and livestock production (provisioning 
services) provide obvious economic benefits 
from pasture and hayland (Tables 1.2 and 1.3), 
along with environmental and social dividends 
(support, regulatory, and cultural services), such 
as landscape diversity and open space. Fishing 
and hunting on these lands provide revenue 
through sales of licenses, sporting equipment, 
and access rights while contributing to healthy 
wildlife populations. In the future, pasture and 
hayland may supply biofuel feedstocks, leading 
to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and lesser 
dependence on fossil fuels. A key feature will be 
to develop and adopt management systems that 
optimize the multiple goals to meet priorities of 
the landowner and the public. 

Forage and grazing lands rely on permanent veg- 
etation cover to reduce soil erosion and protect 



u 



it is critical that 
land managers 
consider how to 
make conserva- 
tion practices an 
integral part of 
their pastureland 
and hayland 
management 
plan" 




FIGURE 1.6. Main categories of ecosystem goods and services. Graphic courtesy 
of Alan Franzluebbers, USDA-ARS, Watkinsville, GA. Earth image from NASA 
Goddard Space Flight Center (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov). 



CHAPTER l: Pastureland and Hayland in the USA 



u 



Social pressures, 
environmental 
concerns, and 
regulations 
will continue to 
challenge farmers 
and ranchers" 



TABLE 1.3. Ecosystem goods and services from pasture and hayland and their postulated economic, 
environmental, and social dividends (adapted from Table 1 , pp. 1 1-1 3 of the Sustainable Rangelands 
Roundtable, 2008). The categories of "Economic," "Environmental," and "Social/cultural" are somewhat 
equivalent to the categories of "Provisioning," "Supporting/Regulating," and "Cultural" services, 
respectively, as defined by the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (2005). 



Ecosystem good or 
service 


Dividends 


Economic 


Environmental 


Social/cultural 


Forage production 
for livestock 


Sale of feed 

Hay, forage production 


Landscapes for 
biodiversity 

Clean air and water 

Carbon sequestration 

Some plants (e.g., 
legumes) enrich soil 


Open space 

Rural communities 
dependent on forage- 
livestock systems 


Livestock production 
for humans 


Sale of meat and fiber 
products 

Farming operations 

Economic base for rural 
communities 


See forage production 
above 

Recycling of nutrients 


Satisfaction derived from 
farming as a way of life 

Serenity of pastoral 
scenery 

Open space 


Fishing and hunting 
Bird watching 


Sales of licenses, gear, 
guide services 

Access rights on private 
or public lands 


Promotion of healthy 
wildlife populations 

Maintenance of 
biodiversity 

Control of hunted 
populations 


Pleasure involved in 
fishing and hunting 

Opportunity to observe 
wildlife 


Clean water 


Satisfaction of household, 
agricultural, and 
industrial needs 

Sale of bottled water 

Income from recreation 


Quality of aquatic habitat 

Drinking water for 
wildlife 

Rejuvenation of riparian 
areas 


Aesthetics of unpolluted 
water 

Pleasure derived from 
recreation 


Biofuel feedstocks 


Sale of the feedstock and 
resulting biofuel 


Depending on feedstock: 
biodiversity maintenance, 
soil enrichment, 
carbon sequestration, 
greenhouse gas 
mitigation 


Reduced dependence on 
fossil fuels 



water quality, support symbioses (e.g., rhizobia 
and mycorrhizae) to supply some nutrients, 
and provide an aesthetically pleasing land- 
scape. Grassland systems can also contribute to 
biodiversity, soil-C storage, and greenhouse-gas 
mitigation (Krueger et al., 2002). For example, 
maintaining biodiversity is a desired ecosystem 
service. Grasslands can be important reservoirs 
of plants, insects, and other organisms (Pimen- 
tel et al., 1992; Sanderson et al., 2004; Jog et al, 
2006). Plant species diversity can be exploited 
to improve grassland production (Soder et al., 



2007) and resist weed invasion (Tracy et al., 
2004; Sheley and Carpinelli, 2005). 

Social pressures, environmental concerns, and 
regulations will continue to challenge farmers and 
ranchers to grapple with managing pastures and 
haylands to provide additional ecosystem servic- 
es, including biodiversity conservation, C seques- 
tration, mitigation of greenhouse-gas emissions, 
and bioenergy production (Jordan et al., 2007; 
Tubiello et al., 2007). These pressures, issues, and 
regulations have already led society demands for 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



M. A. Sanderson, L. Jolley, and J. P. Dobrowolski 




The permanent vegetation 
cover on forage and grasslands 
intercepts rainfall to reduce 
impact and soil erosion, 
produces dense roots that hold 
soil and improve infiltration, 
filters water, and sequesters 
carbon in the soil organic 
matter. Photo: USDA. 



a greater public role in agricultural practices for The importance of forage and grazing lands 

production and land management, and a greater in environmental stewardship was empha- 

degree of government accountability for resources sized in a national report by the American 

invested in conservation programs. Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) that 



CHAPTER l: Pastureland and Hayland in the USA 



u 



The science 
behind the 
conservation 
practices... needs 
to be assessed. " 



identified several priority needs related to 
environmental protection and resource con- 
servation (AFGC, 2001). Among the priorities 
were innovative grazing systems, flexible and 
dynamic nutrient management plans, man- 
agement to increase carbon sequestration, 
and practices to conserve biodiversity. Thus, 
the science behind the conservation practices 
purported to provide these benefits and the 
magnitude of the ensuing benefits needs to 
be assessed. The next four chapters provide 
syntheses of the scientific literature related to 
forage and biomass planting (practice stan- 
dard 512; formerly pasture and hayland plant- 
ing), prescribed grazing (practice standard 
528), forage and harvest management (prac- 
tice standard 511), and nutrient management 
(practice standard 590). 

Literature Cited 

Agouridis, C.T., S.R. Workman, R.C. Warner, 
and G.D. Jennings. 2005. Livestock grazing 
management impacts on stream water quality: 
A review. /. Am. Water Resour. Assoc. 41:591 — 
606. 

Alexander, R.B., RA. Smith, G.E. Schwarz, 
E.W Boyer, J.V. Nolan, and J.W Brakebill. 
2008. Differences in phosphorus and nitrogen 
delivery to the Gulf of Mexico from the 
Mississippi River basin. Environ. Sci. Technol. 
42:822-830. 

Allen, V.G., C. Batello, E.J. Berretta, J. 
Hodgson, M. Kothmann, X. Li, J. McIvor, 
J. Milne, C. Morris, A. Peeters, and M. 
Sanderson. 201 1. An international terminology 
for grazing lands and grazing animals. Grass 
Forage Sci. 66:2-28. 

American Forage and Grassland Council 
(AFGC). 2001. Stewardship for the 21st 
century: A report on America's forage and 
grassland resources and needs. Available at www. 
afgc.org/industryresources.html (verified 24 Jan. 
2011). 

Barnes, R.F, and C.J. Nelson. 2003. Forage and 
grasslands in a changing world, p. 3-23. In R.F 
Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction 
to grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State 
University Press, Ames. 

Barnes, R.F, C.J. Nelson, M. Collins, and K.J. 
Moore (ed.) 2003. Forages: An introduction 
to grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State 
University Press, Ames. 

Barnes, R.F, C.J. Nelson, K.J. Moore, and 
M. Collins (ed.) 2007. Forages: The science 



of grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Blackwell 
Publishing, Ames, IA. 

Bennett, H.H. 1939. Soil conservation. McGraw 
Hill, New York. 

Bennett, H.H. 1951. Soil conservation promotes 
grassland farming. Publication 2212. USDA Soil 
Conservation Service, Beltsville, MD. 

Brookshire, D.S., D. Goodrich, M.D. Dixon, 
LA. Brand, K Benedict, K Lansey, J. 
Thacher, CD. Broadbent, S. Stewart, M. 
McIntosh and D. Kang. 2010. Ecosystem 
services and reallocation choices: A framework 
for preserving semi-arid regions in the 
Southwest./. Contemp. Res. Educ. Issues 144:1- 
14. 

Burns, J.C, and C.E Bagley. 1996. Cool-season 
grasses for pasture, p. 321-355. In L.E. Moser et 
al. (ed.) Cool season forage grasses. Agronomy 
Monographs 34, ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison, WI. 

Costanza, R., R. dArge, R. de Groot, S. 
Farber, M. Grasso, B. Hannon, K Limburg, 
S. Naeem, R.V. O'Neill, J. Paruelo, R.G. 
Raskin, P. Sutton, and M. van den Belt. 
1997. The value of the world's ecosystem services 
and natural capital. Nature 387:253-260. 

Daily, G.C, S. Alexander, PR. Ehrlich, 

L. GOULDER, J. LUBCHENKO, PA. MaTSON, 

HA. Mooney, S. Postel, S.H. Schneider, 

D. TlLMAN, AND G.M. WOODWELL. 1997. 

Ecosystem services: Benefits supplied to human 
societies by natural ecosystems, p. 1-16. In 
Issues in ecology No. 2, Spring 1997. Ecological 
Society of America, Washington, DC. 

Dale, T, and G.E Brown. 1955. Grass crops and 
conservation farming. USDA Farmer's Bulletin. 
No. 2093. U.S. Gov. Print. Office, Washington, 
DC. 

Duriancik, L., D. Bucks, J. P. Dobrowolski, T. 
Drewes, S.D. Eckles, L. Jolley, R.L. Kellogg, 
D. Lund, J.R. Makuch, M.P O'Neill, C.A. 
Rewa, M.R. Walbridge, R. Parry, and 
MA. Weltz. 2008. The first five years of the 
Conservation Effects Assessment Project. /. Soil 
Water Conserv. 63T85A-197A. 

Federal Register. 2009. Grassland reserve 
program; final rule. Fed. Reg. 74:3855-3879. 

Haufler, J.B. (ed.). 2005. Fish and wildlife 
benefits of Farm Bill conservation programs: 
2000-2005 update. Tech. Rev. 05-2. Wildlife 
Society, Bethesda, MD. 

Haufler, J.B. (ed.). 2007. Fish and wildlife 
response to Farm Bill conservation practices. 
Tech. Rev. 07- 1 . Wildlife Society, Bethesda, MD. 

Helms, D. 1990. Conserving the plains: The Soil 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



M. A. Sanderson, L. Jolley, and J. P. Dobrowolski 



Conservation Service in the Great Plains. Agric. 

Hist. 64:58-73. 
Helms, D. 1997. Land capability classification: 

The U.S. experience. Adv. Geol. Ecol. 39:159- 

175. 
Hoover, M.M. 1939. Native and adapted grasses 

for conservation of soil and moisture in the 

Great Plains and western states. U.S. Gov. Print. 

Office, Washington, DC. 
Hughes, H.D., M.E. Heath, and D.S. Metcalfe 

(ed.) 1951. Forages. 1st ed. Iowa State College 

Press, Ames. 
James, P., and C.A. Cox. 2008. Building blocks 

to effectively assess the environmental benefits 

of conservation practices. /. Soil Water Conserv. 

63:178A-180A. 
Johnson, D.H. 2005. Grassland bird use of 

Conservation Reserve Program fields in the 

Great Plains, p. 17-32. In Haufler, J.B. (ed.) Fish 

and wildlife benefits of Farm Bill conservation 

programs: 2000-2005 update. Tech. Rev. 05-2. 

Wildlife Society, Bethesda, MD. 
Jog, S., K. Kindscher, E. Questad, B. Foster, 

and H. Loring. 2006. Floristic quality as an 

indicator of native species diversity in managed 

grasslands. Natural Areas J. 26:149-167. 
Jordan, N., G. Boody, W Broussard, J.D. 

Glover, D. Keeney, B.H. McCown, G. 

McIsaac, M. Mueller, H. Murray, J. Neal, 

C. Pansing, R.E. Turner, K. Warner, and D. 

Wyse. 2007. Sustainable development of the 

bio-economy Science 316:1570-1571. 
Krueger, W.C., MA. Sanderson, J.B. Cropper, 

M. Miller-Goodman, C.E. Kelley, R.D. 

Pieper, PL. Shaver, and M.J. Trlica. 2002. 

Environmental impacts of livestock on U.S. 

grazing lands. Issue Paper 22. Council on 

Agricultural Science and Technology, Ames, IA. 
Lemaire, G., R. Wilkins, and J. Hodgson. 2005. 

Challenges for grassland science: Managing 

research priorities. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 

108:99-108. 
Lubowski, R.N., M. Vesterby, S. Bucholtz, A. 

Baez, and M.J. Roberts. 2006. Major uses of 

land in the U.S. Economic Information Bulletin 

14. USDA-ERS, Washington, DC. 
Millenium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. 

Ecosystems and human well-being: Synthesis. 

Island Press, Washington, DC. 
Miller, D.A. 1984. Forage crops. McGraw Hill, 

New York. 
Nelson, C.J., and J.C. Burns. 2006. Fifty years 

of grassland science leading to change. Crop Sci. 

44:2204-2217. 



Pimentel, D., U. Stachow, D.A. Takacs, H.W 
Brubaker, A.R. Dumas, J.J. Meaney, J.A.S. 
O'Neill, D.E. Onsi, and D.B. Corzilius. 
1992. Conserving biological diversity in 
agricultural/forestry systems. Bioscience 42:354- 
362. 

Sanderson, M.A., S.C. Goslee, K.J. Soder, R.H. 
Skinner, and PR. Adler 2009. Managing 
forage and grazing lands for multiple ecosystem 
services, p. 82-95. In A. Franzluebbers (ed.) 
Farming with grass. Soil Water Conservation 
Society, Ankeny, IA. 

Sanderson, M.A., R.H. Skinner, D.J. Barker, 
G.R. Edwards, B.F. Tracy, and D.A. Wedin. 
2004. Plant species diversity and management 
of temperate forage and grazing land ecosystems. 
Crop Sci. 44:1132-1144. 

Schnepf, M., and C. Cox (ed.) 2006. 

Environmental benefits of conservation on 
croplands: The status of our knowledge. Soil 
Water Conservation Society, Ankeny, IA. 

Schnepf, M., and C. Cox (ed.) 2007. Managing 
agricultural landscapes for environmental 
quality: Strengthening the science base. Soil 
Water Conservation Society, Ankeny, IA. 

SHEAFFER, C.C.j L.E. SOLLENBERGER, M.H. HALL, 

and C.P. West. 2009. Grazing lands, forages, 
and livestock in humid regions, p. 95-120. 
In WF. Wedin and S.L. Fales (ed.) Grassland: 
Quietness and strength for a new American 
agriculture. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison, WI. 

Sheley, R.L., and M.E Carpinelli. 2005. 

Creating weed-resistant plant communities using 
niche-differentiated nonnative species. Rangel. 
Ecol. Manage. 58:480-488. 

Soder, K.J., A.J. Rook, MA. Sanderson, and 
S.C. Goslee. 2007. Interaction of plant species 
diversity on grazing behavior and performance of 
livestock grazing temperate region pastures. Crop 
Sci. 47:416-425. 

Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable, K. 
Maczko and L. Hidinger (ed.). 2008. 
Sustainable rangelands ecosystem goods and 
services. Available at http://sustainable. 
rangelands.org/pdf/Ecosystem_Goods_Services. 
pdf (verified 24 Jan. 2011). 

Tracy, B.F, I. Renne, J. Gerrish, and MA. 
Sanderson. 2004. Forage diversity and weed 
abundance relationships in grazed pasture 
communities. Basic Appl. Ecol. 5:543-550. 

TUBIELLO, F.N., J.-F. SOUSSANA, AND S.M. 

Howden. 2007. Crop and pasture response 
to climate change. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 
104:19686-19690. 



CHAPTER l: Pastureland and Hayland in the USA 



United States Department of Agriculture 
(USDA). 1948. Grass. The yearbook of 
agriculture. U.S. Gov. Print. Office, Washington, 
DC. 

USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service 
USDA-AMS. 2010. The national organic 
program. Available at http://www.ams.usda.gov/ 
(verified 24 Jan. 2011). 

USDA-National Agricultural Statistics 
Service (USDA-NASS). 2009. Census of 
agriculture 2007. USDA-NASS, Washington, 
DC. Available at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/ 
(verified 24 Jan. 2011). 

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation 
Service (USDA-NRCS). National 
resources Inventory: 2003 annual NRI. 
USDA-NRCS, Washington, DC. Available 
at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/nri/ 
(verified 24 Jan. 2011). 

USDA-NRCS. 2004. Grassland reserve program 



environmental assessment. USDA-NRCS, 

Washington, DC. Available at http://www.nrcs. 

usda.gov/programs/grp/ (verified 24 Jan. 201 1). 
USDA-NRCS. 2010a. Conservation programs. 

USDA-NRCS, Washington, DC. Available at 

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Programs/ (verified 24 

Jan. 2011). 
USDA-NRCS. 2010b. National handbook 

of conservation practices. USDA-NRCS, 

Washington, DC. Available at http://www.nrcs. 

usda.gov/technical/standards/nhcp.html (verified 

24 Jan. 2011). 
Vough, L.R. 1990. Grazing lands in the East. 

Rangelands 12:251—255. 
Wedin, WE, and S.L. Fales (ed.) 2009. 

Grassland: Quietness and strength for a new 

American agriculture. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, 

Madison, WI. 
Wheeler, W.A. 1950. Forage and pasture crops. 

Van Nostrand, New York. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 









i:h 



i±J>r 






-<•*•• 




Wt. 







Forage and Biomass Planting 

David J. Barker 1 , Jennifer W. MacAdam 2 , Twain J. Butler 3 , R. Mark Sulc 1 

Authors are 'Professor, Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University; 
2 Associate Professor, Utah State University; and 3 Associate Professor, 

The Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK. 



Correspondence: David J. Barker, 226 Kottman Hall, 

2021 Coffey Road, Columbus OH 43210 

barker. 1 69@osu.edu 



Reference to any commercial product or service is made with the understanding 
that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by USDA is implied 









■*Y^>%3 





vvu 



► v' . 



i 



ft 

Even though good 
management might be 
used, the establishment 
period has a risk of 
failure. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



Forage and Biomass Planting 




David J. Barker, Jennifer W. MacAdam, Twain J. Butler, R. Mark Sulc 



INTRODUCTION 

Forage and biomass species offer many benefits 
for conservation. More specifically, these species 
can be grown for grazing, hay, silage, biofuel, or 
industrial use and are among land-use options 
available to generate economic return and 
provide other agroecosystem services. Once 
established, these perennial species protect 
soil from erosion, improve water infiltration, 
reduce runoff, retain nutrients that might 
otherwise enter a waterway, provide shelter 
and sustenance for wildlife, build soil organic 
matter, increase soil nitrogen (N) through root 
and nodule turnover, support food and biofuel 
production, ensure food security, add to farm 
income, and contribute to the quality of rural 
life. 

One dilemma of any planting is that even 
though good management might be used, 
the establishment period has a risk of failure 
because of factors such as wind and water 
erosion, disease and insects, hard seed, slow 
seedling growth, weed invasion, drought, or 
frost. Every establishment is likely to have a 
short period of production and financial loss, 
as well as negative environmental impact; 
however, it is the long-term positive benefits 
that make these short-term negative impacts 
tolerable (Fig. 2.1). These up-front costs of 
financial expenditure, lost production, and 
environmental disturbance occur irrespective of 
establishment success or failure, so additional 
input to reduce the risk of stand failure is 
warranted (Bartholomew, 2005). It is well 
known that managers should rely on local data, 
previous experience, careful timing, and good 
management to minimize risk and economic 
loss. The literature is deficient in descriptions 
of establishment failures that frequently occur, 
most likely because it can be difficult to publish 
negative data. 



This chapter summarizes the research 
related to the Purposes and Criteria of the 
practices described in the Natural Resources 
Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation 
Practice Standard, Forage and Biomass 
Planting, Code 512 (January 20 1 0) (Appendix 
I); (Maderik et al., 2006). We address the 
establishment of grasslands intended for the 
purposes listed in Code 512 (Fig. 2.2) and 
focused the synthesis on plantings in the cool- 
season (temperate), transition, and subtropical 
zones of the eastern USA, and included 
intensively managed grasslands in the West 
(Figs. 1.1 and 2.3). This includes establishment 
of grazed forest and agroforestry mixes, grazed 
or harvested cover crops, perennial seedings for 
wildlife, and interseeding of annual species into 
perennial warm-season pastures. This excludes 
rangeland establishment, which was reviewed 
by Hardegree et al. (201 1). Also excluded were 
seeding cover crops where the sole purpose 
was grain production; the seeding of grain 



( + ) 



Z3 



o 
o 

LU 



Warm-season_grasses 



I Cool-season grasses 



v. - 



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 
Years After Establishment 



cd 

CD 

> 

CD 

w 

1 >. 

(-) o 
o 

LU 



FIGURE 2.1. Change in economic return from 
production following a new seeding for perennial 
plants as they achieve and maintain full produc- 
tion. Cool-season species often establish faster 
than warm-season grasses, and may differ in some 
ecosystem services. Associated contributions to 
ecosystem services (e.g., soil erosion, soil carbon, 
wildlife, and social values) are not well known or 
been assigned economic values. A short-term loss 
of production and/or services can be justified by 
the likelihood of benefits over the long term. 




Birdsfoot trefoil 2 wk after 
spring planting in Utah (drill 
rows run left to right]. Credit: 
Jennifer MacAdam, Utah State 
Univ. 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 




NP FP FS WQ EC BP 



FIGURE 2.2. Percentage of 314 research publica- 
tions on forage and grassland establishment based 
on the intended purpose. Purposes included no 
purpose stated (NP), improve forage production 
and animal nutrition (FP), balance forage supply 
(FS), improve water quality (WQ), enhance erosion 
control (EC), and biomass production (BP). 



ou 






S 40 






T3 






3 






co 30 


- m 




M— 






o 


" 




§,20 


- 


■ - 


ro 












® 10 


1 




o 




■ 


1_ 






CD 






°- 


— ^H_ ,_ 


■ ,■,■,■,■ 



cs 



TZ SE 



w 



IN 



NR 



FIGURE 2.3. Percentage of 3 1 4 research publica- 
tions on forage and grassland establishment based 
on the geographical region in which the research 
was conducted. Regions (see Fig. 1.1) included 
the cool season, mainly from northern and eastern 
states (CS), transition zone (TZ), southeast and 
subtropical (SE), west (W), international (IN), and 
no region stated (NR). 



crops such as wheat (scientific names of all 
plant species used in this chapter are given in 
Appendix III) or corn where their secondary 
use might be for grazing; or Conservation 
Reserve Program (CRP) seedings, which were 
reviewed by Reeder and Westermann (2006). 

In this chapter, establishment is defined as 
the period between seeding and utilization 
of the vegetation for its intended purpose, 
which is typically at the time full canopy cover 
is achieved. This period can be as short as 6 
wk for rapidly establishing species in ideal 
conditions (e.g., annual ryegrass), or as long 
as 2-3 yr for slowly establishing species in a 



harsh environment (e.g., big bluestem). In 
broader terms, establishment commences when 
the seed is placed into the soil and continues 
until development of a mature canopy. After 
establishment it may take as long as 7 yr for a 
mixed-species planting to achieve equilibrium 
and develop spatial patterns that are typical of 
a mature canopy. At the other extreme, some 
definitions of establishment consider only the 
time until seedlings have achieved enough 
leaf area for photosynthesis to be in a positive 
energy and nutrient balance, which might take 
as little as 2 1 d after emergence for rapidly 
establishing species (Ries and Svejcar, 1991). 

This chapter comprises 1 1 sections derived 
from the Code 512 "Plans and Specifications," 
and follows the sequence of decisions and 
operations necessary for a successful seeding. 
We begin with "Plans and Specifications," 
followed by the preplant operations, "Selection 
of Species and Cultivars," "Type of Legume 
Inoculant Used," "Seed Source and Analysis," 
"Fertilizer Application," and "Seed Coatings 
and Pretreatments." This is followed by 
the planting operations, "Site and Seedbed 
Preparation and Method of Seeding," "Climatic 
Factors Affecting Time of Seeding," "Rates of 
Seeding," and "Seeding Depth." We conclude 
with "Protection of Plantings," divided into the 
subsections "Postseeding Management" and 
"Weed Control." 

PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS 

Code 512 requires preparation of plans and 
specifications for planting of each site or 
management unit. In some cases, planning 
should start 12 mo prior to the actual seeding. 
Elements necessary to meet the intended 
purpose include selection of species, type 
of legume inoculant used, seed source and 
analysis, fertilizer application, site and seedbed 
preparation, method of seeding, time of 
seeding, rates of seeding, protection of the 
planting, and supplemental water for plant 
establishment. 

Important components of the planning process 
that are omitted from Code 512 are 

1 . Financial analysis of the costs and benefits 
for the planting, including a cash-flow 
plan. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



2. Environmental analysis of the disruption 
to agroecosystem services, and the long- 
term benefits that can be expected. 

3. Consideration of other improvement 
options. In some cases, a new seeding may 
not be necessary if sufficient plants remain 
that can be stimulated. Other adaptive 
management options such as fertilization 
(Chapter 5), appropriate harvest schedules 
(Chapter 4), or appropriate grazing 
methods (Chapter 3) can achieve grassland 
improvement in some situations. In 
these cases, agroecosystem services might 
be maintained by avoiding disruption 
resulting from re-establishment. 

4. Identification and correction of 
management or environmental factors 
(e.g., poor drainage, weediness, low 
fertility, under- or overgrazing, or poorly 
adapted species or cultivars) that might 
have contributed to failure of the prior 
stand. For example, alfalfa plants release 
autotoxins to the soil that reduce root 
growth of alfalfa. Thus, alfalfa should 
not be seeded immediately following a 
prior alfalfa stand (Jennings and Nelson, 
2002a, 2002b). Failure to complete this 
step increases risk of an unsuccessful 
establishment that will require another 
new seeding (Hopkins et al., 2000). 

5. Consideration of additional operational 
details, including options for the use of 
seed coatings and pretreatments, and 
determination of the correct seeding depth. 

6. The consideration of livestock production 
was implied in Code 512, giving the 
implication there is less emphasis on 
environmental conservation and the 
emerging importance of food sources and 
habitat for wildlife. 

SELECTION OF SPECIES AND CULTIVARS 

The most significant benefit of a new seeding 
is the introduction of preferred species or 
cultivars that were sparse or absent in the 
previous stand. One complexity in species 
selection is the number of options that 
exist. The 363 publications summarized in 
this chapter included 162 grassland species, 
comprised of 70 legume species, 79 grass 
species, and 13 forbs (Table 2.1; Fig. 2.4). Most 
species have many cultivars (e.g., as many as 
1000 for alfalfa) that add to the complexity. 



Agronomic performance varies among 
cultivars. For example, in South Dakota, slowly 
establishing 'Vernal' alfalfa was more dependent 
on use of an oat companion crop for weed 
control than the faster establishing 'Saranac' 
(Hansen and Krueger, 1973). This said, the 
unavailability of a given cultivar, species, or 
even inoculum may severely limit a producer's 
options in a given year. 

The selection of species for establishment is 
determined by the ultimate purpose of the 
land area. Formulating a seed mixture of 
desired species is based on variation in the 
establishment characteristics of the species 
used (Brar et al., 1991; Barker et al., 1993). 
Seeding rates used in mixed seedings integrate 
the relative establishment characteristics and 
the long-term botanical composition desired 
(Blaser et al., 1952). The literature has many 
examples of changes in botanical composition 
during establishment in response to the stand 
management (Skinner, 2005). Comparative 
analyses indicate species and cultivars can 
be ranked for rate of establishment and 
competitiveness during establishment (Blaser 
et al., 1952). However, the very large number 
of species and cultivars, the proportions 
in which they can be mixed, and their 
complexity of interactions within a variable 
environment have not been researched in 
detail, making selection of species mixtures as 
much art as science. 

Species and the Code 512 Purposes 

Livestock and Wildlife Nutrition and Health. 
In most cases, there is a trade-off between 
forage production and nutritive value for the 
purpose of livestock and wildlife nutrition and 
health (Collins and Fritz, 2003; Chapter 3 of 
this volume). Sometimes the most productive 
species (e.g., tall fescue or switchgrass) is not 
the highest-quality option. Less-productive 
species, such as timothy, blue grama, or white 
clover, may be suitable components of a pasture 
mixture through their contribution to forage 
quality. Some of these desirable species can 
be difficult to establish and maintain in the 
mixture. Nutritional needs of livestock are 
complex (Dougherty and Collins, 2003), but in 
general, the highest-quality forages will contain 
high energy and protein. Thus, the major 
criteria for species selection are the desired use 



u 



One complexity 

in species 

selection is the 

number of options 

that exist." 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.1. Summary of the literature on responses of plant species to establishment practices. Most commonly researched 
species accounted for > 50% of the functional group. 



Functional group 


Most commonly researched 
species 


Additional Total 
species species 


Total 
studies' 


Percent of 
total 


Number 


Perennial legumes 


Alfalfa, white clover, red clover 


15 18 


269 


35% 


Annual and biennial legumes 


Subterranean clover, 

arrowleaf clover, winter pea, 

crimson clover, hairy vetch, 

sweet clover 


46 52 


93 


12% 


Cool-season perennial 
grasses 


Orchardgrass, smooth 

bromegrass, perennial 

ryegrass, tall fescue, crested 

wheatgrass, timothy 


28 34 


169 


22% 


Cool-season annual grasses 


Oat, wheat 


7 9 


62 


8% 


Warm-season perennial 
grasses 


Switchgrass, big bluestem, 
indiangrass 


30 33 


143 


19% 


Warm-season annual grasses 


Crabgrass, millet, sorghum 
sudangrass 


5 8 


13 


2% 


Forbs 


Chicory, turnip, plantain 


10 13 


24 3% 


Total 




167 


773 



Includes 314 publications [47 reviews and 267 research papers), averaging 3.5 species per publication. 



of the established stand and not their ease of 
establishment. 

Current emphasis has expanded the list 
of desirable features of a forage mixture 
to include environmental and wildlife 
benefits, which involves more complex 
decision making. Even generalized species 
recommendations for wildlife are difficult 
because of the number of different species 
and the variability in their food and 
habitat requirements. There is increasing 
information on the dual-purpose supply 
of forage to domestic and wildlife species. 
Herbivorous wildlife (e.g., deer, elk, horses, 
etc.) have nutritional requirements similar to 
those of domestic livestock (Fennessey and 
Milligan, 1987), and well-managed grassland 
often has better forage quality than the 
vegetation they might usually encounter. An 
excellent review by Harper et al. (2007) lists 
92 references describing the establishment 
and use of warm-season species for mixed 
wildlife and biomass production in the 
midsouth USA. 



For some wildlife, habitat quality can be more 
important than nutritional value per se. In this 
respect, the dense stands of most well-managed 
forage grasses restrict nesting and feeding, 
with more open stands being preferred by 
ground-dwelling birds (Vickery et al., 2001). 
In contrast, many native prairie grass species 
grow as spaced bunchgrasses and offer excellent 
bird habitat. Grasslands used by wildlife must 
also support the insect and rodent populations 
used as food by certain bird groups. Similar 
to nesting issues, dense grassland stands may 
increase the cover for rodents and insects 
and reduce habitat quality for predatory and 
insectivorous birds such as owls, sparrow 
hawks, and meadowlarks (Vickery et al., 2001). 

Studies also have shown that biodiverse 
vegetation with many flowering species usually 
supports more insects and consequently 
more bird species (Tscharntke and Hans- 
Joachim, 1995; Dupont and Overgaard 
Nielsen, 2006). In Minnesota, species-rich 
grasslands, especially those mixtures that 
included legumes and cool-season (C 3 ) grasses, 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



supported greater insect diversity (Siemann 
et al., 1988). In addition to species selection, 
stand management (e.g., timing of mowing, 
grazing, or harvesting) can be important 
in allowing expression of flowering, as well 
as avoiding the disruption of nesting. Such 
management can be important to offset losses 
of species richness in the planting mixture 
(Siemann, 1998), yet management to allow 
flowering is usually in conflict with the goal 
of producing high-quality forage, because 
the highest nutritional value of most forage 
species occurs prior to flowers being formed. 

We found little research on establishment 
of multispecies mixtures, especially those 
developed with the multiple purposes 
of livestock production, environmental 
conservation, and wildlife benefits. As 
mentioned above, the first step should 
be to design the best mixture to achieve 
the multiple functions, and then use the 
management needed to maintain the 
proportions. The method for establishing 
that desired combination may include 
sequenced seeding, beginning with a rapidly 
establishing species to hold the soil followed 
by interseeding other species to develop 
the desired mixture gradually. These diverse 
goals and species also require technical 
information for adaptive management of 
the landowner to maintain the mixture as 
designed to achieve the desired purpose. 
Unfortunately, there were few establishment 
studies that focused on these longer-term 
concepts or goals. 

Forage Production and Seasonal 
Distribution. Pasture species, and to a lesser 
extent, cultivars, differ in their growth patterns 
during the year. Species with contrasting 
growth patterns can be seeded together in the 
same pasture or separately in adjacent pastures 
within a grazing system (e.g., Moore et al., 
2004) for the specific purpose of modifying 
the seasonal pattern of forage availability and 
quality. Early- and late-maturing cultivars 
of orchardgrass grown in separate fields on a 
single farm will spread the harvesting time for 
hay. There are several situations in which the 
diverse growth patterns of grassland species 
can be used to complement each other to 
ensure forage supply for a longer time period. 
Usually, the objective is to provide a year-round 



supply of grazable forage to livestock; however, 
constraints from cold winters and dry summers 
reduce growth rates and prevent farms from 
achieving that goal. Thus, for most areas in the 
USA, farms are dependent on various systems 
to store forage (see Chapter 4). In such cases, 
species may be selected primarily for their ease 
of harvest and storage. 

Optimal species for forage production differ 
among regions, districts, and even among fields 
within farms. Farmers should gain experience 
with new species and cultivars on small areas 
within their farms, because species and cultivar 
performance are sufficiently dependent on 
soil resources, slopes and aspects, livestock 
species, grazing management, and fertilization 
practices that their suitability can vary between 
adjacent farms. One strategy is for farmers 
to use mixtures of 3-10 species within a 
single sowing. Although this may increase the 
complexity of management to maintain each 
combination, the benefits of more species 
may include greater production and greater 
stability of livestock production (Blaser et al., 
1952; Sanderson et al., 2004) or benefits to the 
environment and wildlife. 

Legumes vs. Cool-Season Grasses. Most 
forage legumes have a higher temperature 
optimum for growth (25°C) than cool-season 
grasses (20°C; MacAdam and Nelson, 2003). 
Thus, in cooler conditions such as early spring 
or late autumn, cool-season grasses have 
a higher growth rate. In hotter conditions 



(f> 



50 
40 

30 

20 

10 





■ 






Cool- Warm- 
season season 













PL AL PG AG PG AG FB 



FIGURE 2.4. Percentage of 314 research publica- 
tions on forage and grassland establishment based 
on functional group of species evaluated. Groups 
included perennial legumes (PL), annual and bien- 
nial legumes (AL), cool-season perennial grasses 
(PG), cool-season annual grasses (AG), warm- 
season perennial grasses (PG), warm-season annual 
grasses (AG), and forbs (FB). 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 




Dairy heifers grazing a 
perennial ryegrass pasture 
in Idaho. Credit: Jennifer 
MacAdam, Utah State 
University. 



during summer (after cool-season grasses 
have flowered and are growing in a vegetative 
condition), legumes will generally have higher 
production. One of the benefits of grass- 
legume mixtures, in addition to N-fixation 
by legumes, is their complementary growth 
patterns. In most cases, adapted legumes and 
cool-season grasses are planted together and 
will co-exist in perennial stands with good 
management. In some cases where legumes 
are lost from a stand, legumes such as red 
clover or alfalfa can be no-till or frost-seeded 
(broadcast) into established vegetation (Taylor 
et al., 1969; Wolf et al., 1983; Schellenberg 
andWaddington, 1997). 

Cool- vs. Warm-Season Grasses. Cool- 
season grasses are adapted to cool, moist 
conditions, such as early spring and late 
autumn, whereas warm-season grasses are better 
adapted to warmer, drier conditions that prevail 
in summer (MacAdam and Nelson, 2003). In 
mixture, the contrasting growth and agronomic 
requirements of these grasses can make it 
difficult to retain both functional groups in the 
desired proportions. More commonly, these 
species might be planted separately as special 
purpose areas within a farming system to 
provide feed during a period of deficit (Moore 
et al., 2004). In the midwest, the options for 
special-purpose warm-season pastures are 
1) planting annual crops such as sorghum- 
sudangrass or tef or 2) planting perennial 
pastures with species such as switchgrass, big 
bluestem, or indiangrass. 



Autumn-Seeded Small Grains. Annual small- 
grain species suitable for forage production 
include oat, barley, wheat, rye, and triticale. 
These species can be planted in autumn after 
early harvest of soybean for grain, corn for 
silage, or winter wheat, with the specific 
purpose of accumulating forage for later in 
winter when it might be grazed (Sulc and Tracy, 
2007). Species vary in their tolerance to winter 
cold. Oat plants are not very frost tolerant and 
need to be harvested or grazed before or soon 
after temperatures fall below -5°C to conserve 
yield and quality. At the other extreme, winter 
rye will survive most winters and have excellent 
early-spring growth. 

No-Till Seeding Into Perennial Pasture. 
One option for pasture renovation is to no-till 
cool-season species such as white or crimson 
clover into existing pastures of warm-season 
(C 4 ) species such as bermudagrass. The primary 
benefits are to promote early- or late-season 
forage production and to improve forage 
quality. A common example in the USA is 
the establishment of annual or short-rotation 
(hybrid) ryegrass into bermudagrass (Swain 
et al., 1965). For the same purpose, ryegrass 
was no-till drilled into kikuyu pasture in 
northern New Zealand (Barker et al., 1990). 
Interseeding of cool-season grass or legume 
species into upright native warm-season grasses 
such as switchgrass or big bluestem has been 
less successful. 

Soil Erosion 

Grasslands have among the lowest rates of soil 
erosion compared to other land-use options 
(Owens et al., 1989). The mechanisms by 
which grasslands protect soil include, perennial 
vegetation that reduces rainfall impact on 
soil (Exner and Cruse, 1993), extensive root 
systems that die, leaving channels to enhance 
water infiltration, dense stands that slow surface 
water flow, dense and fine roots that hold soil 
particles, and greater earthworm numbers 
ensuring macropores for water infiltration 
(Owens et al., 1989). There is relatively little 
published information on differences in erosion 
among grassland species. One study found that 
adding smooth bromegrass to an alfalfa stand 
had no effect on the erosion rates from the 
vegetation (Zemenchik et al., 1996). The dense 
vegetation of tall fescue provides better soil 
cover and has less runoff than do native warm- 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



season species (Self-Davis et al., 2003). In other 
studies, increased amounts of vegetative cover 
had the greatest effect on reducing erosion rates 
from pasture (see Chapter 4). If the vegetative 
cover is dense, relatively uniform, and has little 
or no bare ground present, the differences 
among species are negligible (Zemenchik et al., 
1996). 

Improve Soil and Water Quality 

The most important characteristics relevant 
to the quality of runoff water are the 
concentrations of suspended sediments and 
dissolved nutrients, and the presence of bacteria 
such as fecal coliforms. Nitrate and pesticides 
can also leach through the soil and into the 
ground water. The volume of water and the 
concentrations of the suspended or dissolved 
materials affect the total amount of these 
materials lost from an area. Since there is very 
little vegetation on tilled seedbeds during early 
stages of establishment, newly planted areas 
are more susceptible to runoff and leaching 
than established stands. However, no literature 
was found describing any effects of species on 
erosion or water quality during establishment. 
One article reported that contour planting 
(perpendicular to the slope) of forages reduced 
surface runoff compared to planting down the 
slope, but no data were presented (Decker et 
al., 1964). 

Established grassland vegetation significantly 
improves water quantity and quality compared 
to forest or cropland (Dabney et al., 1994; 
Owens and Bonta, 2004; Vadas et al., 2008; 
Owens and Shipitalo, 2009). The effects of 
pasture species on water quality are negligible 
compared to the effects of pasture cover, 
and the management of that biomass via 
defoliation and timing of fertilizer use. Any 
effects of established pasture species on water 
quality can largely be attributed to the density 
and uniformity of the final stand; all pasture 
species that are adapted to the environment 
and management will have beneficial effects on 
water quality and quantity. 

Carbon (C) Sequestration 

Established grasslands have considerable 
potential for C sequestration. However, 
the actual sequestration achieved is more 
dependent on biomass management than 
on species selection (Skinner, 2008; Don et 



al., 2009). Harvesting more frequently and 
removing most of the aboveground mass 
can reduce the potential for C sequestration 
because root growth is reduced (Skinner, 
2008). The primary mechanism for C 
sequestration in harvested or grazed forages is 
root growth, or more specifically, the relative 
rates of root growth and death/senescence 
(Frank et al., 2004). Senescent leaves and stems 
on the soil surface can be incorporated into the 
soil by microbial activity, however that process 
is slower than for ingestion and movement by 
earthworms. 

Pasture species with high root mass, especially 
mass that is distributed deeper in the soil 
profile, have the potential for high rates of 
C sequestration. In switchgrass, for example, 
roots can account for 27% of total plant 
C, and plant crown material that is below 
ground can account for an additional 57% 
of plant C (Frank et al., 2004). Not only can 
the individual species affect root growth, the 
number of species may also be important. 
Skinner et al. (2006) found an 1 1 -species 
pasture mixture had 30-62% greater root 
biomass than two- or three-species mixtures, 
and a greater proportion of roots were deeper 
in the soil. Even with this initial variation in 
root biomass however, their study did not 
find any differences in C sequestration among 
species mixtures after 4 yr. 

Monocultures of six cool-season grasses and 
one warm-season grass averaged 60% more root 
mass than either alfalfa or red clover 2 yr after 
establishment (Bolinder et al, 2002). It was 
subsequently found that legumes allocated 43% 
of total carbon to roots and soil while grasses 
allocated 56% (Bolinder et al., 2007). Mixtures 
of legumes and grasses can have up to 73% of 
their C allocated to roots and soil (Bolinder 
et al, 2007). It can be concluded that species 
and cultivars that are productive and persistent 
will have better C sequestration potential than 
species that perform poorly, and mixtures are 
superior to monocultures. 

Species for Biofuel or Energy Production 

Many grassland species have been evaluated for 
biofuel or energy production, including, for 
example, prairie cordgrass, sugarcane hybrids, 
sorghum, barley, Canada wildrye, big bluestem, 
indiangrass, sideoats grama, and alfalfa 



u 



...effects of 

pasture species 

on water quality 

are negligible 

compared to 

the effects of 

pasture cover" 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



u 



Certified seed 
of named 
cultivars is highly 
recommended 



(Boukerrou and Rasmusson, 1990; Vogel et 
al., 2006; Boe and Lee, 2007; Dhugga, 2007; 
Lamb et al., 2007; Wang et al., 2008; Mangan 
et al., 201 1). Although most grassland species 
have the potential for dual use as livestock 
forage and biofuel/energy, the contrasting 
requirements of these industries makes it likely 
that specialist species and/or cultivars will be 
necessary. In recent years, greatest interest has 
focused on switchgrass for biofuel/energy in 
much of eastern USA and the midwest (Vogel 
et al., 2002; Frank et al., 2004; Berdahl et 
al., 2005; Cassida et al., 2005; Mulkey et al., 
2006; Boe and Lee, 2007; Vogel and Mitchell, 
2008), however, miscanthus, giant reed 
(Clifton-Brown et al., 2001; Decruyenaere 
and Holt, 2001, 2005) and energy cane (Prine 
and French, 1999) also have high potential for 
biofuel/energy crops, but would be lower in 
dual-use potentials. 

Plant breeders have found variation in the 
characteristics of many species proposed for use 
as biofuel/energy crops, and cultivars of some 
species are available in some regions (Berdahl 
et al., 2005; Boe and Lee, 2007; Murray 
et al., 2008; Wang et al., 2008). Typically, 
these cultivars have high yield potential, low 
fiber digestibility, low nutrient content, and 
consequently low ash content. To date, no 
genetically modified crop dedicated to biofuel/ 
energy production is available; however, new 
information on the biochemical pathways 
suggests that scope for genetically modified 
cultivars is possible (Sticklen, 2007). 

We found no published research evaluating 
effects of biofuel species on erosion, water 
runoff, or wildlife benefits during the 
establishment period. But recognizing the 
duration for establishment is relatively long, the 
risk would seemingly be rather high. This is an 
area needing research attention. 

Cultivars 

Selecting appropriate cultivars of a species 
can be as important as selection of species for 
optimum grassland performance. For example, 
one cultivar of annual ryegrass resulted in 
more severe suppression of a new alfalfa stand 
than other cultivars, when used as a cover crop 
during establishment (Sulc and Albrecht, 1996). 
Although intended as a companion crop to 
provide soil protection and weed competition 



during alfalfa establishment, the more vigorous 
annual ryegrass cultivars impaired growth of 
the developing alfalfa stand. Certified seed of 
named cultivars is highly recommended rather 
than variety not stated (VNS) seed. Several 
years of testing with red clover in Kentucky 
found only about 10% of seed lots of common 
red clover were as productive as certified seed 
(Olson etal, 2010). 

Cultivars vary in many traits, and alfalfa 
cultivars, for example, show large variation 
that includes differences in insect and disease 
resistance, fall dormancy, winter hardiness, 
flowering date, and yield potential. Genetically 
modified alfalfa cultivars with genes for 
glyphosate (chemical and trade names are in 
Appendix IV) tolerance were first released in 
2005. These were withdrawn from commercial 
sale in March 2007 while their environmental 
impact was investigated by USDA and again 
approved. Seed became nonregulated and 
commercially available again in January 2011. 
This glyphosate-tolerant technology will allow 
producers to better control weed competition 
during establishment (Hall et al., 2010). Once 
a weed-free stand is achieved, a well-managed 
alfalfa stand is relatively resistant to weed 
invasion. 

Grazing tolerant alfalfa cultivars have 
belowground crowns and multiple stems 
per plant, resulting in improved persistence 
under grazing (Bouton and Gates, 2003). 
Similarly, white clover cultivars can show 
extreme variation in morphology, with large- 
leaved and erect types (e.g., ladino white 
clover) being better suited to hay production, 
and intermediate types (e.g., 'Durana') being 
better suited to grazing. The very-small-leaved 
prostrate types of white clover (e.g., Dutch 
clover) have low production and are unsuitable 
for most purposes. In contrast to their 
agronomic characteristics, most cultivars within 
a species have similar emergence characteristics, 
and differences in establishment are more 
likely caused by variation in seed quality than 
emergence rate per se. 

Turf cultivars should never be confused or 
mixed with forage cultivars. In most cases, 
the yield potential of turf cultivars is much 
lower, tillering rates are higher, and leaf growth 
rates slower than those of forage cultivars. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



Recommended seeding rates for turf cultivars 
are typically much higher than those for forage 
use. This is due to the need for more rapid 
and more uniform establishment in amenity 
areas than is necessary in forage stands, rather 
than any difference in the rates of emergence 
and establishment. Seed of turf cultivars of 
tall fescue and perennial ryegrass will likely 
be infected with an endophytic fungus that 
improves persistence of these species, but 
produces alkaloids that can be toxic to livestock 
and wildlife. 

Many forage species are sold commercially 
as blends. For example, BG34* perennial 
ryegrass, StarGrazer® tall fescue, and Haymate* 
orchardgrass are sold as mixtures of several 
cultivars of their respective species. Although 
there may be benefits from genetic diversity 
in seeding mixtures of cultivars, this has 
rarely been addressed in the literature. The 
success of these blends can be attributed 
to both the component cultivars and the 
proportions of each that survive after 



establishment. Biochemical and molecular 
methods can document the establishment 
of an improved cultivar seeded into a stand 
where a "naturalized" population of the 
same species already exists (Hopkins et al., 
2000). Invariably, improved cultivars do not 
contribute significantly to the resultant stand 
unless significant changes to stand management 
(e.g., increased fertilizer use) are made. 

Producers may prefer 'tried and true' cultivars 
over newer and often more expensive cultivars. 
Producers might successfully use a specific 
cultivar for specific conditions on their farm, 
but it may not be suitable for a nearby farm 
if grazing systems or hay management and 
fertilizer practices differ between the farms. In 
many cases cultivar selection depends on what 
is available at a local seed merchant. 




CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



Spring-seeded birdsfoot trefoil 
10 mo after planting in Utah 
(drill rows run top to bottom) 
(compare to photo after spring 
planting). Credit: Jennifer Mac- 
Adam, Utah State University. 



even later if the management does not use 
the superior feature. It should be noted that 
VNS seed could be an older cultivar or a new 
cultivar that does not have normal proprietary 
protections and guarantees. In another study, 
Lamb et al. (2006) found that older alfalfa 
cultivars had production similar to newer ones, 
except in more stressed environments and 
especially when persistence was challenged. 
Newer alfalfa cultivars had better persistence 
and productions in year 3 and thereafter 
(Lamb et al., 2006). Although, in general, 
cultivars of various grassland species showed 
very little difference in emergence rates, rates of 
germination and field establishment could be 
improved in bahiagrass by standard breeding 
methods (Anderson et al., 2009). 

Species Mixtures 

Another consideration to be made before 
planting is whether a single or multiple species 
stand is desired. Many new seedings comprise 



only 1 or 2 species, yet there are some benefits 
from establishment of biodiverse mixtures 
containing as many as 10 to 20 species 
(Sanderson et al, 2004, 2005). The literature 
is not clear on the benefits from complex 
mixtures, with results depending on the actual 
species used in the mixtures. Arguments 
against species-rich mixtures are the greater 
probability that one or more desired species 
are poorly adapted to co-establishment or 
specific environmental conditions, the greater 
management complexity of the resultant stand, 
and the unpredictability of the final botanical 
composition. There is some evidence that 
established grasslands may benefit from species- 
rich mixtures, especially on sites with highly 
diverse microenvironments such as mixed soil 
types, variable topography and soil fertility, 
patch grazing by livestock, and those subject 
to wide variations in weather that add stresses 
such as temperature, drought and flooding 
(Sanderson et al, 2002). 




Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



Conclusion— Selection of Species and 
Cultivars 

Code 512 emphasizes the selection of species 
and cultivars that are adapted to the site being 
planted. The characteristics to consider include 
climatic conditions; soil condition; landscape 
position; and any phytotoxic compounds, 
diseases, and insects that might be prevalent. 
The Code 512 Criteria place little emphasis 
on environmental or wildlife factors, but these 
were also included in this review because of 
their emerging interest. Changing climate, 
as evidenced by revision of the USDA Plant 
Hardiness Zone map in 2005 and 2012, may 
allow species that had once been considered 
unsuitable, to be suitable for some regions. 
This literature summary included 162 species 
(70 legumes, 79 grasses, and 13 forbs); 
however, just 28 of these species accounted 
for more than 50% of the research evaluated. 
The remaining species have potential for use 
in innumerable specialized situations and 
purposes, and additional research is warranted 
to explore these situations. 

Selection of species and cultivars should also 
include the proposed use and management 
of the established stand. Some species and 
cultivars are better suited for grazing, and even 
within this designation, certain plant species 
are better suited than others for a particular 
animal species. Some species and cultivars 
are better used for hay or silage, and some 
are better used as biofuel/energy sources. 
Although it is desirable for grasslands to have 
multiple uses, the species and cultivars best 
suited for particular purposes generally do not 
have multiple-use options, e.g., the best alfalfa 
cultivars for hay production are likely poorly 
suited for grazing or biofuel use. Regrettably, 
characteristics that determine the suitability 
of a species for a particular use are not always 
associated with ease of establishment, and some 
desirable species can be difficult to establish. 

The Code 512 Criteria emphasize that forage 
should meet the level of desired nutrition 
for the class of livestock. Forage species 
vary in their nutritional characteristics (e.g., 
digestibility, energy content, and protein 
content), and high-quality forages are essential 
for growing and lactating livestock (not so 
for mature and "dry" animals). The Code 512 
Criteria also emphasize components of the 



forage mixture should have similar palatability; 
however, research shows this specification is 
often unrealistic or infeasible. Grasses and 
legumes are frequently mixed in pastures to 
achieve an optimal combination of herbage 
production through the entire season, plus 
benefiting from biological nitrogen fixation. 
Competitiveness of a species in a mixture 
is related more closely to production of 
herbage than to the quality or palatability 
of the herbage. This characteristic is likely 
the most critical for establishment success 
making the species selection of the mixture 
restricted to matching those that are similar 
in competiveness. Selective grazing due to 
different palatability is an inevitable feature 
of grazing mixed species that can be managed 
with rotational stocking (Chapter 3). 

The Code 512 Criteria specify that species 
should be used that help meet livestock forage 
demand during times when normal production 
is inadequate. This specification is supported 
by the literature and deferred grazing (Chapter 
3) or harvest of forage species suitable for hay 
or silage production may be required (Chapter 
4). Selecting the species to establish for these 
purposes is important in the planning phase, 
and the establishment time or method may 
need to be altered to accomplish this goal. 
To date there is insufficient research on how 
each species provides the nutritional and 
environmental requirements of wildlife to make 
detailed species selections. 

Another Code 512 Criteria is that species 
established for biofuel or energy production 
should provide the kinds and amount of 
plant materials needed for that purpose. 
This is supported by research, because some 
grass species are more suitable than others 
for cocombustion, cellulolytic fermentation, 
or other biofuel or bioindustrial application. 
Most research is based on use of perennials 
in monocultures that are harvested one or 
two times annually and are based mainly on 
biomass production and quality. Effects on the 
environment or wildlife remain unknown. 

Code 512 Considerations specify establishing 
persistent species that can tolerate close 
grazing and trampling in areas where animals 
congregate, and where C sequestration is a 
goal, deep-rooted perennial species should 



u 



...the species 

and cultivars 

best suited 

for particular 

purposes 

generally do not 

have multiple-use 

options 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.2. Legume species and their recommended commercia rhizobia 


species and current sources of commercia strains. 


Common name 


Rhizobium species 


Source and name of commercial strain 


Alfalfa 


Sinorhizobium/Ensifer meliloti 


Nitragin A, 1 Dormal alfalfa, 2 N-Dure or Pre-vail alfalfa 3 


Bundleflower 


Rhizobium spp. 


CB3126 4 


Clover, alsike 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii 


Nitragin B, 1 Dormal-true clover, 2 N-Dure true clover 3 


Clover, arrowleaf 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii 


USDA 2298/ Nitragin R/WR/O 1 


Clover, ball 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii 


Identical to alsike clover 


Clover, crimson 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii 


Nitragin R/WR/O, 1 Dormal true clover 2 


Clover, red 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii 


Identical to alsike clover 


Clover, kura 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii 


USDA2126 4 


Clover, rose 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii 


WSM 1325/ Nitragin R/WR/O 1 


Clover, subterranean 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii 


USDA 2116/ Nitragin R/WR/O 1 


Clover, white 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii 


Identical to alsike clover 


Cowpea 


Bradyrhizobium spp. 'vigna' 


Nitragin EL, 1 Royal Peat-cowpea 2 


Crownvetch 


Mesorhizobium spp. 


CrV-1 4 


Deervetch 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 


DV-2 4 


Lablab 


Bradyrhizobium spp. 'lablab' 


USDA 3605 4 


Lespedeza 


Bradyrhizobium spp. 'lespedeza' 


Nitragin EL, 1 Royal Peat-cowpea 2 


Medic, barrel 


Sinorhizobium/Ensifer medicae 


WSM 1 1 1 5 4 


Medic, black 


Sinorhizobium/Ensifer medicae 


WSM 1 1 1 5 4 


Medic, burr 


Sinorhizobium/Ensifer medicae 


WSM 1 1 1 5 4 


Medic, little burr 


Sinorhizobium/Ensifer medicae 


WSM 1 1 1 5 4 


Medic, rigid 


Sinorhizobium/Ensifer medicae 


M49 4 


Medic, Tifton burr 


Sinorhizobium/Ensifer meliloti 


Nitragin A 1 


Milkvetch, cicer 


Rhizobium spp. 


USDA 381 l 4 


Mungbean 


Bradyrhizobium sp. 'vigna' 


Nitragin EL, 1 Royal Peat-cowpea 2 


Prairie clover 


Rhizobium spp. 


USDA 3742 4 


Sainfoin 


Rhizobium spp. 


Sain-1 4 


Sulla 


Rhizobium spp. 


Hedy-2 4 


Sweetclover 


Sinorhizobium/Ensifer meliloti 


Identical to alfalfa 


Tickclover 


Bradyrhizobium spp. 


CB 756 4 


Trefoil, big 


Bradyrhizobium spp. 'lotus' 


USDA 3469 4 


Trefoil, birdsfoot 


Rhizobium/Mesorhizobium loti 


Dormal-trefoil, 2 Pre-vail trefoil, 3 BFT-1 4 


Vetches 


Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 


Nitragin C, 1 Nodulator, 2 N-charge, 3 V-l 4 



'EMD Crop BioScience, 1 3100 West Lisbon Avenue, Suite 600, Brookfield, Wl 53005. http://www.nitragin.com/homepage. 2 BeckerUnderwood, 801 Dayton Avenue, 
Ames, IA 50010. http://www.beckerunderwood.com. 3 INTX Microbials, 200 West Seymour, Kentland, IN 47951 . http://www.intxmicrobials.com. 4 Plant Probotics, 6835 
Lindel Court, Indianapolis, IN 46268. tomwacek@yahoo.com. 



be selected that will increase underground 
C storage. Research shows there is variation 
among species and cultivars in tolerance of 
trampling and close defoliation, and in the 
extent of root growth. However, there are also 
limitations in the extent to which grasslands 
species can express these traits in these 
harsh conditions, and management such as 
delaying defoliation and fertilizer use, can be 



as important as species selection in achieving 
those goals (Chapters 3-5). 

Overall, it is clear that the choice of which 
species to establish is more dependent on the 
ultimate use of the stand than on the ease of 
establishment. Most grasslands are planted with 
perennial species intended for long-term use, 
e.g., hay or silage production, a riparian area 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



or a grazing pasture, so the choice of species 
should be made carefully. Although there is 
usually a single predominant purpose, there 
are invariably other benefits and ecosystem 
services that are associated with grassland, 
and in most cases the landowner prefers to 
select species for their versatility in different 
situations. Flexibility allows the landowner to 
alter the use or apply adaptive management to 
correct problems such as using a pasture for 
hay in spring to control some weeds or grazing 
the pasture during fall to weaken the grass 
stand to plant a legume the following spring. 
But the adaptive management also depends on 
recognition of the problem and knowing the 
best ways to ameliorate the problem. 

IMPORTANCE OF LEGUME 
INOCULATION 

The presence of functioning nodules from 
the genera Rhizobium, Bradyrhizobium, 
Mesorhizobium, Sinorhizobium, or 
Azorhizobium on legume roots is critical 
for N fixation. In addition to the number 
of nodules per plant, the activity of these 
nodules combines to determine the rate of N 
fixation. There are unique rhizobia species for 
each legume species; however, some rhizobia 
species can infect several host-legume species. 
In general, where a legume species has not 
previously been planted, it is imperative to 
ensure that seed is rhizobia-coated prior to 
seeding. Where the given legume has previously 
been planted, there are usually sufficient 
naturalized rhizobia populations to ensure 
infection occurs; however the N-fixation rate 
for these populations can be considerably lower 
than for introduced strains that are available 
commercially. 

Rhizobia are generally host specific and, 
therefore, selecting the correct strain for 
each legume species is critical for growing 
legumes that can fix atmospheric N. Red, 
white, ball, and alsike clovers can use the 
same rhizobia strain; however, arrowleaf, kura, 
rose, and subterranean clovers each require a 
unique strain. During years with high costs 
of N fertilizer, this advantage seems obvious; 
however, research in this field is on the 
decline (Brockwell and Bottomly, 1995). The 
inoculants and strains that are recommended 
for each legume species are summarized in 



Table 2.2. Because of the dependence on 
commercial production and marketing, it 
is becoming difficult to find commercial 
quantities of rhizobia inoculants for the 
less commonly used legumes, and generally 
inoculants for only alfalfa, white clover, and 
red clover are approved for organic use by the 
Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI). 

There are several difficulties in summarizing 
the literature related to rhizobia strains and 
giving recommendations for their use. Many 
studies (e.g., Jones et al., 1978; Prevost et al., 
1987; Coll et al., 1989; Trotman and Weaver, 
1995) report on strains collected locally, but 
not available commercially. In other cases a 
commercial inoculant might be listed in a 
research publication, but the specific strain(s) 
used is not reported or even known. The 
authors are aware of only four commercial 
companies in the USA that produce and 
sell inoculants for a broad range of forage 
legumes (Tables 2.2 and 2.3), and the specific 
strains in the product are usually not listed. 
References relating to rhizobia strain selection, 
evaluation, and the best treatment found in 
each respective study are summarized in Table 
2.3. However, these strains are often not those 
commercially produced, which shows some 
disconnect between research and ultimate 
commercialization. 

Rhizobia infection (i.e., the number of 
nodules) and the rate of N fixation (includes 
activity nodule 1 ) are sensitive to biotic and 
abiotic stresses. Generally any stress that 
reduces photosynthesis or plant growth will 
reduce infection and subsequent N fixation. 
Drought, heat, desiccation, soil acidity, salinity, 
nutrient deficiencies, some pesticides, and 
residual N in the soil have been identified as 
major factors limiting rhizobia populations and 
their formation of nodules (Thies et al., 1991; 
Zahran, 1999). 

Literature relating rhizobia to management and 
technologies, such as adhesives, pelleting, and 
cropping history is summarized in Table 2.4. 
Rhizobia must adhere to the seed to ensure 
the desired bacteria are near the seed when it 
germinates. The roots release chemical signals 
to the bacteria that lead them to infection of 
the root and subsequently effective nodulation. 
One study found that water alone was 



u 



There are unique 
rhizobia species 
for each legume 
species 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.3. Rhizobia-legume references related to compc 


ring optimum strains. 






Legume species 


Rhizobium species 


Comparison 


Best strain or inoculant 


Reference 


Alfalfa 


Sinorhizobium melilotii 


2 strains; 2 C0 2 levels 


A2 > NRG34 


Bertrand et al. (2007) 


Alfalfa 


S. melilotii 


2 strains 


WSM419 


Cheng et al. (2002) 


Alfalfa 


S. melilotii 


4 parent/mutants 


102F51, 102F34 


Hardarson et al. (1981) 


Alfalfa 


S. melilotii 


26 strains 


WSM 826 


Howieson et al. (2000) 


Alfalfa 


Rhizobium leguminosarum 


3 strains 


NS 


Stout etal. (1997) 


Alfalfa 


S. melilotii 


1 7 strains 


CCBAU3013 


Zeng et al. (2007) 


Arrowleaf clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


16 strains; 3 pH 


N fertilizer > 
6A,6B,6C,9A,9B 


Coll etal. (1989) 


Arrowleaf clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


1 60 strains 


W8-1, W9-4, W9-6 local 
strains 


Trotman and Weaver 
(1995) 

Trotman and Weaver 
(2000) 


Arrowleaf clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


1 8 strains 


Not identified 


Cicer milkvetch 


R. leguminosarum, S. 
melilotii 


1 3 strains 


B2 and 9462L 


Zhao etal. (1997) 


Cowpea 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
phaseoli 


3 strains; 2 carriers 


Oil-based > peat-based 
inocula; 971A 


Kremer and Peterson 
(1983) 


Crimson clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


5 strains 


K13, X95 


Smith etal. (1982) 


Faba bean 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
vicae 


67 strains 


Strains effective on vetch 
and peas 


Van Berkum et al. 
(1995) 


Kura clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


1 8 strains 


N fertilizer 


Beauregard et al. 
(2003) 


Kura clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


27 strains 


3D1Y8,3DlY8(b) 


Erdman and Means 
(1956) 


Kura clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


+/- 1 strain 


None 
Eight effective on acid soils 


Seguin etal. (2001) 
Munnsetal. (1979) 


Mung bean 


Bradyrhizobium spp. 


40 strains 


Sainfoin 


Not reported 


31 strains 


Five experimentals = SM2 
and 116A15 


Prevostetal. (1987) 


Subterranean clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


10 strains 


NS (IST5 1 , IST54 IST65, 
USDA2156) 


Rumbaugh etal. (1990) 


Subterranean clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


33 strains 


1 8 strains NS 


Thornton and Davey 
(1983) 

Jones etal. (1978) 


Subterranean clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


9 strains 


XI 6, X47 



ineffective as a sticking agent for peat-based 
inoculant, but that gum arabic was an effective 
adhesive for ensuring nodule formation on 
white clover at both low and high levels of 
inoculation (i.e., 600 and 3000 rhizobia 
seed 1 , respectively; Waggoner et al., 1979). 
Formulations such as peat or pelleting, which 
provide physical protection to the rhizobia, 
or management techniques such as planting 



deeper to moisture should enhance nodulation 
(Walley et al., 2004). Nodulation was similar 
between liquid inoculum and peat-based 
inoculum for field pea (Hynes et al., 1995), 
but the liquid formulation was much easier to 
apply. 

Under dry soil conditions, peat-based and 
granular formulations resulted in more 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



nodules on field pea compared to a liquid 
formulation (Walley et al., 2004), which 
was attributed to physical protection of the 
rhizobia from heat and desiccation. Surface 
seeding was detrimental to rhizobia under 
dry conditions and planting at 16-mm 
depth optimized rhizobia survival, seedling 
emergence, and survival of arrowleaf clover 
(Rich et al., 1983). Exposure of rhizobia to 
5 hr or more of sunlight or 2 wk in dry soil 
without germinating resulted in less effective 
inoculation (Alexander and Chamblee, 1965). 
Therefore, if seed are not preinoculated 
commercially, it should be inoculated 
effectively on the same day it is planted. 



pelleted seed of red clover, white clover, and 
alfalfa did not differ from seed inoculated 
with rhizobia using water as the sticker agent 
(Olsen and Elkins, 1977). Similarly, lime 
pelleting containing rhizobia did not improve 
subterranean clover yield in the seeding year 
when compared to nonpelleted seed treated 
with a commercial inoculum on three of four 
soils (Williams and Kay, 1959). However, 
lime pelleting seed increased yield of arrowleaf 
clover in a nonfumigated soil over an otherwise 
equivalent fumigated soil, suggesting that 
pelleting assisted introduced rhizobia to 
compete with native soil microorganisms 
(WadeetaL, 1972). 



Contrary to Waggoner et al. (1979), seedling 
emergence and the resultant yield from lime- 



Encapsulating rhizobia into a seed coating 
helps protect the bacteria from environmental 



TABLE 2.4. Summary of rhizobia responses to management and coating treatments. 



Legume species 


Rhizobium species 
(if stated) 


Comparison 


Best treatment 


References 


Alfalfa 




Desiccation; sunlight 


< 3 hr sunlight; < 2 wk 
desiccation 


Alexander and Chamblee 
(1965) 


Alfalfa 




Two stickers 


Lime pelleting = water 


Olsen and Elkins (1977) 


Alfalfa 




+/- pelleting 


Pelleting > nonpelleted 


Vincent and Smith (1982) 


Annual medics 


Sinorhizobium melilotii 


+/- N fertilizer; 1 strain 


102G3and 102A13 
greatest occupancy 


Zhuetal. (1998) 


Arrowleaf clover 


Rhizobium 

leguminosarum bv. 

trifolii 


Two stickers 


Pelgel gum arabic > 
water sticker 


Richetal. (1983) 


Arrowleaf clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


+/- pelleting; rates 


Lime pelleting = 
fumigation 


Wadeetal. (1972) 


Hairy vetch 




Cropping history 


Inoculation beneficial 
50% of time 


Andrews (1940) 


Lespedeza 




Three timings; 3 N rates 


Starter N increased 
growth; no effect of timing 


Bender etal. (1988) 


Pea 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
vicae 


Two formulations 


Liquid = peat carrier; 
128C56G strain 


Hynesetal. (1995) 


Pea 




Cropping history 


Inoculation beneficial 
33-50% of time 


Vessey (2004) 


Red clover 




Two stickers 


Lime pelleting = water 


Olsen and Elkins (1977) 
Vincent and Smith (1982) 


Red clover 
Subterranean clover 

Subterranean clover 




+/- pelleting 


No differences 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


1 3 coatings/ adhesives 


Peat > broth; gum arabic 
> pelleting 


Radcliffeetal. (1967) 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


Lime pelleting or band 


Limestone band pH 4.6; 
NS other sites 


Williams and Kay (1959) 


White clover 


R. leguminosarum bv. 
trifolii 


Two stickers 


Gum arabic adhesive > 
water 


Waggoner etal. (1979) 


White clover 




Two stickers 


Lime pelleting = water 


Olsen and Elkins (1977) 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



Cicer milkvetch 10 mo 
after spring planting in Utah 
(compare to birdsfoot trefoil 
10 mo after planting). Credit: 
Jennifer MacAdam, Utah State 
University. 



stress. The literature is inconsistent on whether 
coating is beneficial for maintaining rhizobia 
viability or enhancing seedling vigor. 

Competition between introduced and native 
strains of rhizobia can be one reason for 
inoculation failures (Thies et al, 1991). In 
Hawaii, on sites with moderate background 
populations of native rhizobia as low as 50 
rhizobia g soil" 1 , seed inoculated with rhizobia 
frequently showed no increase in yield. With a 
low background population of <10 indigenous 
rhizobia g soil" 1 , however, rhizobia inoculation 
increased economic yield of several legumes 85% 
of the time (Thies et al., 1991). Pellet-coating 
seed increased the number of nodules plant" 1 , N 
content, and seedling growth of alfalfa, whereas 
pelleting did not improve nodule formation on 
red clover (Vincent and Smith, 1982). 

It is a good practice to inoculate legumes each 
time they are planted, even when the same 



legume has been grown recently on the same 
field. Andrews (1940) tested noninoculated 
seed of vetch on 77 soils that had previously 
grown vetch. Half had a lower yield than those 
where seed had been treated with commercial 
inoculant. Vessey (2004) also reported positive 
alfalfa yield responses 33-50% of the time 
when inoculated seed was planted in fields 
with a prior alfalfa cropping history. Thus, 
inoculation of the seed just prior to planting 
is generally considered good insurance when 
planting legume seed, because of the more 
rapid growth rate of seedlings and better 
seedling vigor that usually occurs during 
establishment (Vincent and Smith, 1982). 

Conclusion— Type of Legume Inoculant 
Used 

General Criteria of Code 512 specify that 
legume seed should be preinoculated or 
inoculated with the proper viable strain of 
rhizobia immediately before planting, which 




Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



is supported by the literature. In addition, 
the literature supports making legumes self- 
sufficient for N supply in that legume seed 
inoculated with the proper rhizobia strain will 
improve establishment of forage and biomass 
crops by increasing seedling vigor, accelerating 
canopy closure, and ensuring earlier ground 
cover to reduce soil erosion and improve water 
quality. Properly inoculated legume seed will 
produce plants that are higher in protein than 
those from non-inoculated seed that can lead 
to improved nutrition and health of livestock 
and wildlife without the economic and 
environmental costs of N fertilization. 

SEED COATINGS AND PRETREATMENTS 

Seed coatings are a broad group of compounds 
that can be applied to seed to modify their 
germination and establishment characteristics. 
The most common coatings include rhizobia 
(for legumes), lime, nutrients, insecticides, 
fungicides, nematicides, and their associated 
adhesives. Invariably, these products increase 
seed weight by as much as 100% and reduce 
the amount of pure live seed (PLS) applied 
(seed nr 2 ) for a given seeding rate (g m" 2 ). 
Seed pretreatments contrast from seed coatings 
by modifying the seed and its coat, but do 
not appreciably affect the seeding rate. Seed 
pretreatments include deawning to improve 
seed flow for mechanical planting, scarification 
to improve water imbibition, seed priming and 
preimbibition to enhance early germination 
and emergence, and chilling to reduce 
dormancy. 

Seed coatings were first used in China around 
100 bc, and comprised seed pellets made from 
a slurry of ground horse bones, herbal extracts, 
silkworm droppings, and sheep dung (Gong et 
al., 2003). The modern coating and treatment 
options have been reviewed by Scott (1989). 

Many coatings and pretreatments have 
been investigated as aids to germination; 
however, evidence in the research literature is 
inconsistent about the benefits these provide. 
Although seed coatings generally provide 
benefits to seedling emergence and protect the 
seed from adverse environmental impacts, in 
some situations the very nature of the coating 
can be a barrier to the environment and slow 
or delay germination. Generally, the benefits of 



coatings may be more evident when the seed 
and seedling are in a stressful environment. 

The choice to use seed coating is affected 
more by the nature of the species than by the 
intended purpose for the grassland planting. 
Seed coatings used to enhance germination 
and the success of establishment can benefit 
all purposes. We found and summarized 15 
publications that investigated seed coatings and 
treatments within a forage production context, 
but none investigated seed coatings and 
treatments for ecosystem benefits, specifically 
for soil or water conservation, environmental 
protection, wildlife, or C sequestration. 

Seed Coatings 

Lime coatings are the most common and 
can protect rhizobia viability during storage 
and benefit establishment indirectly through 
improved nodulation and subsequent N 
fixation. Most rhizobia carriers used in alfalfa 
seed coating add 10-30% to the seed weight. 
With spring-planted alfalfa in Minnesota at 
16.8 kg PLS ha" 1 , a lime-based seed treatment 
(RhizoCote*) increased the stand density by an 
average of 31% over the control in 5 of 14 field 
studies, with no difference measured in the 
remaining studies. This advantage was increased 
to 54% for 8 of 14 studies when metalaxyl, 
a fungicide, was also used in the coating. In 
10 of these studies, yield the seeding year was 
increased by an average of 6.6% from the lime 
coat used in conjunction with a fungicide or 
pesticide (Sheaffer et al., 1988). This study 
also compared bare and coated alfalfa seed at 
the same seeding rate (16.8 kg ha" 1 ), which, in 
effect, added 34% weight seed" 1 because the 
coat reduced specific seed weight from 485 to 
320 seeds g" 1 . In this case, although the lower 
seeding rate was partially offset by greater seed 
emergence for the coated seed, the final stand 
density was reduced in only one of four studies. 
However, if fungicide or pesticide was added 
to the coating, the final stand density at the 
low rate was not statistically different from the 
control. 

Lime coatings may have other less direct effects 
on seedling emergence by modification of seed 
texture. In the case of rough and/or fluffy seed, 
lime coatings can improve their flow through 
a seeder. In the case of aerial seedings, lime 
coating can increase seed weight (especially for 



u 



...legume seed 

inoculated with 

the proper 

rhizobia strain 

will improve 

establishment 

of forage and 

biomass crops 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



u 



Factors most often 
related to seed 
vigor are seed 
size or weight, 
duration of seed 
storage, and the 
seed storage 
environment." 



light seed such as orchardgrass) and contribute 
to a successful seeding by enhancing seed 
ballistics and ensuring seed actually hits the 
target area, and lands with greater force to 
improve seed to soil contact (Scott, 1989; 
Loch, 1993). 

Many studies describe where fungicides, 
insecticides, and nematicides have been 
included in seed coatings. Having the chemical 
products near the germinating seed might give 
greatest protection. Greater benefit arose from 
use of fungicides as seed coats, but benefits 
also occurred for insecticides and nematicides 
where these pests were present (Sheaffer et 
al., 1988). In New Zealand, laboratory and 
field studies with white clover found seed 
coating containing the insecticides carbosulfan 
and isofenphos improved early seedling 
establishment when a native weevil was present, 
and a commercially available white clover 
seed treated with the insecticide, furathiocarb, 
increased seedling survival and yield for up 
to 13 mo after sowing (Barratt et al., 1995). 
In this study, carbosulfan caused rapid 
mortality of rhizobia, whereas isofenphos and 
furathiocarb caused no significant mortality 
of rhizobia (Barratt et al., 1995). Studies in 
New Zealand found no benefit to final stand 
for seed-coat applications of carbofuran or 
furathiocarb insecticides for no-till perennial 
ryegrass (Barker et al., 1990). 

Of concern is the potential effect of insecticide 
use on nontarget organisms. In one French 
study, the effect of an insecticide (imidacloprid) 
seed coating on sunflower was investigated on 
subsequent nontarget pollinator populations of 
bumblebee (Tasei et al., 2001). When used at 
the registered dose in the greenhouse or field, 
there were no significant effects on bumblebee 
foraging and homing behavior, or on colony 
development. 

Nutrients attached to the seed as a coating offer 
potential for early nutrition of the emerging 
seedling, but may raise the risk of incurring 
damage from the high osmotic potential of 
such solutes. The nutrient most likely to be of 
benefit is phosphorus (P). In Norway, P seed 
coatings of oat enhanced biomass accumulation 
up to 22% and grain set up to 15%, but had 
no benefit for grain yield (Peltonen-Sainio et 
al., 2006). 



Seed Pretreatment 

Hard seed is a common condition of natural 
plant populations, in which dormancy can be 
caused by an impermeable seed coat (Ghersa 
et al, 1997). The most common pretreatment 
in this case is scarification of the seed coat by 
physical abrasion or chemical weakening to 
allow easier movement of water or oxygen into 
the seed. Mild physical abrasion with sandpaper 
increased germination of white clover from 
about 3% to 70% (Burton, 1940). For cicer 
milkvetch, the best scarification treatment 
among 30 different time, pressure, and 
abrasion combinations reduced the percentage 
of hard seed from 54% to 1% (Townsend 
and McGinnies, 1972b). Most responses to 
scarification have been observed for legumes 
and other dicotyledonous species, but also are 
effective for some warm-season grasses, such as 
eastern gamagrass (Tian et al, 2002). 

Many seed pods, seed coats, and seed 
integuments contain germination inhibitors 
that can delay the germination of seed under 
natural conditions (Carleton et al, 1968). 
Frequently, these compounds are leached by 
water, allowing the seed to germinate and 
establish after sufficient time to leach and 
once appropriate temperature and moisture 
conditions occur. Most commercial seed has 
these pods and husks removed to ensure more 
rapid and uniform seed germination. For farm- 
saved seed of forage species such as sainfoin, 
the failure to remove seed pods and husks may 
result in poorer germination and establishment. 

Several forage seed species (e.g., switchgrass, 
eastern gamagrass) have a period of dormancy 
immediately following harvest (Madakadze et 
al., 2000; Rogis et al., 2004). This is a natural 
mechanism to prevent premature germination 
of seed under field conditions until exposed 
to a period of cold such as winter. The most 
common treatment to reduce or shorten 
this dormancy is a period of cold treatment 
following imbibition (stratification) with water 
that mimics overwintering in the soil. Some 
studies have found improved germination 
following several weeks of stratification at 5°C, 
or several cycles of alternating cool and warm 
temperature, depending on species. If needed, 
most commercial seed has already been scarified 
and should not require additional treatment. 
Farm-saved seed may require artificial 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



stratification if the seed is not planted in the 
autumn to stratify naturally. 

Various seed-priming methods have been used 
experimentally to increase seed germination 
rate (Rao et al., 1987; Artola et al., 2003a). 
In these cases, the seed is allowed to imbibe 
water and begin to germinate for several hours, 
but then is redried. When water is added 
again the seed germinates and begins seedling 
growth very quickly. For example, field and 
laboratory studies have found germination 
of Lehmann lovegrass seeds can be improved 
by various presowing seed treatments such 
as alternate moistening and drying, oven- 
drying, scarification, and prechilling on a 
moist substrate (Haferkamp et al., 1977). The 
increased germination may be due to improved 
seed-coat permeability or to a change in the 
metabolic state of the seed (Haferkamp et al, 
1977). In contrast, surface-sowed primed seed 
of white clover, orchardgrass, and perennial 
ryegrass had rapid early emergence; however, 
unfavorable rainfall during later seedling 
growth resulted in lower overall emergence 
(Barker and Zhang, 1988). The emergence of 
big bluestem and switchgrass was increased 
18% by seed priming treatments in greenhouse 
studies, but had no benefit in field studies 
(Beckman et al., 1993). 

Conclusions -Seed Coatings and 
Pretreatments 

The Code 512 General Criteria specify that 
seeding rates be calculated on a PLS basis, 
suggesting seeding rates of coated seed based 
on weight need to be adjusted upward. 
The literature suggests that benefits of seed 
coating may partially offset the lower seeding 
rate on a weight basis. There is also an 
economic consideration, because coated seed 
is usually more expensive to purchase, so the 
recommendation for a higher seeding rate to 
achieve constant PLS adds significantly to the 
cost of a seeding. Seedings with a short-term 
financial return (e.g., hay, grazing, or biomass) 
may benefit from the use of more expensive 
coated and pretreated seed, whereas seedings 
without short-term financial return such as 
those for conservation and wildlife may not 
justify the additional seed cost. 

New technology is likely to improve the 
performance of seed coatings. New adhesives, 



pesticides, and products such as inert carriers, 
are likely to improve efficacy of seed coating. 
For example, polymer seed coatings are being 
used for corn and canola, and in the future 
may become cost effective for high-value forage 
crops such as alfalfa. Polymer coatings such 
as polyvinylidene chloride, ethyl cellulose, 
and polyvinyl acetate polymer resin have been 
evaluated for protecting seed from insects and 
diseases, and preventing water absorption while 
in storage (TeKrony, 2006). Most polymer 
coatings are very thin (1-10% of seed weight) 
and do not add appreciably to seed weight 
(TeKrony, 2006). Thickness is critical, because 
a coating rate of one or two layers of polyvinyl 
acetate polymer increased rate of seed water 
uptake, whereas five layers of coating slowed 
rate of water uptake. 

SEED SOURCE AND ANALYSIS 

Seed certification provides a guarantee of 
genetic identity and cultivar purity, as well 
as minimizing content of restricted and 
prohibited noxious weed seeds. State seed laws 
further add limits on seed of prohibited weeds 
and noxious species. Standard seed testing also 
includes determining germination and hard 
seed percentages. Hard seed does not germinate 
quickly because of an impervious seed coat, 
but might germinate once the seed coat is 







August seeded birdsfoot trefoil 
2 mo after planting with oat as 
a companion crop (cut]. Credit: 
Jennifer MacAdam, Utah State 
University. 




CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



u 



Does seed that 
meets state 
quality standards 
improve 
establishment...?" 



degraded. These criteria define the ability of 
seeds to germinate and develop into vigorous 
seedlings to hasten stand establishment. 
Higher-quality seed will usually be larger and 
have faster emergence, but seed size is not 
usually reported for commercial seed lots. This 
section addresses the two questions: Does seed 
that meets state quality standards improve 
establishment to have the planted seed become 
the dominant canopy type(s) with few weeds, 
and does it decrease the time for the planted 
seed to develop a usable canopy? 

Most published research has documented seed- 
quality effects on emergence rates for stands 
established for production purposes such as 
hay, silage, or grazing. As a generalization, these 
factors should also have positive influences on 
stands where the purpose is for erosion control, 
wildlife, C sequestration, or biomass, although 
no literature was found on these latter issues. 

Seed vigor comprises those properties that 
determine the potential for rapid, uniform 
emergence and development of normal 
seedlings under a wide range of field conditions 
(Baalbaki et al., 1983). It is most often tested 
by measuring germination of stressed seeds 
with the use of an accelerated aging test or a 
cold test. The cold test attempts to measure 
the combined effects of genotype, seed quality 
(both physical and physiological), seed or 
soil-borne pathogens and seed treatment. 
Other tests include rate of germination, rate of 
seedling growth, and tests of metabolic activity 
with the use of tetrazolium chloride, electrical 
conductivity, and respiration rates. 

Factors most often related to seed vigor 
are seed size or weight (Heydecker and 
Coolbear, 1977), duration of seed storage, 
and the seed storage environment. Larger 
or younger seed often result in more rapid 
rates of establishment and early plant growth; 
however, rapid establishment should reduce 
risk of environmental outcomes, but does not 
always result in higher yield (TeKroney and 
Egli, 1991). Seed vigor can have a measurable 
effect on yield by way of improved stand 
establishment, which in turn is influenced 
by emergence and uniformity of overall 
establishment (TeKrony and Egli, 1991). 

The electrical conductivity test and the 



accelerated aging test were the most effective 
predictors of field emergence for legume 
species, whereas the standard germination 
test was the best predictor of seed vigor for 
grasses (Wang et al., 2004). In situations 
such as late or low-density plantings, or in 
plantings where weed competition is strong, 
rapid establishment can improve survival and 
competitiveness of desired species to make a 
significant contribution to yield. 

Differences in seed size of alfalfa did not 
influence the number of seedlings that 
emerged, but large seed was positively 
related to seed vigor, measured as plant 
biomass (Beveridge and Wilsie, 1959). This 
occurred because seed reserves remaining 
after emergence can support more rapid 
accumulation of leaf area and photosynthesis 
capacity by the seedlings. In white clover, sown 
at the same PLS percentage, higher-quality 
seed (e.g., heavier seed with faster germination) 
resulted in higher yield and significantly lower 
weed content in the year following planting 
(Pasumarty et al., 1996). Similarly, in a growth 
room study, larger seed size of birdsfoot trefoil 
produced larger cotyledon area of emerged 
seedlings and greater seedling vigor (Shibles 
and MacDonald, 1962). 

Whereas established plants of kura clover are 
very persistent, seed are small and seedling 
establishment is slow. Selection for improved 
seed vigor, based on earlier work with birdsfoot 
trefoil (Twamley, 1974), showed seedling fresh 
shoot weight was a better indicator of seedling 
vigor than was seed size (DeHaan et al., 2001; 
Artola et al., 2003b). DeHaan et al. (2001) 
found kura clover seed size was correlated 
with fresh shoot biomass, and that fresh shoot 
biomass at 42 d after planting was the best and 
most practical selection criterion to improve 
seedling vigor. 

Seed storage conditions can alter seed vigor 
over time (Zarnstorff et al, 1994). Low 
temperature (0-2°C) and low relative humidity 
(6%) are recommended for long-term (20 
yr) viability of seed. During a 10-yr study, 
white clover seed stored at 2°C and 10-20% 
humidity actually increased in germination 
percentage as the hard seed percentage 
decreased. When temperature and humidity 
were both controlled, storage container (i.e., 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



cloth bag, glass jar, or resealable plastic bag) 
did not affect grass-seed vigor, measured as 
the rate of hypocotyl elongation following 
germination (Lewis et al., 1998). At 4°C and 
70-90% humidity, vigor of grass seed was 
higher after 10 yr when seed was stored in 
cloth bags than in glass jars or plastic bags. 
When neither temperature nor humidity was 
controlled, grass seed stored in resealable plastic 
bags had the highest vigor after 10 yr (Lewis 
et al., 1998). The authors noted that although 
germination was similar for grass seed stored in 
low-temperature environments, seed vigor was 
significantly less when storage humidity was 
higher, regardless of storage container. 

Conclusion 

The literature supported the Code 512 Criteria 
that all seed and planting materials should meet 
state quality standards. Noxious species cannot 
be planted for legal reasons. Based on the nine 
articles reviewed, the most important single 
measure of seed quality is the germination 
test and its date, as reported on the seed 
label. Although various other seed-quality 
characteristics can predict establishment, two 
useful characteristics, i.e., seed size and seed 
storage conditions, are not reported on seed 
labels. As a generalization, seed should be 
stored on-farm for the least possible time to 
minimize seed deterioration during storage; 
where on-farm storage is necessary seed should 
be stored in a cool dry location. 

FERTILIZER APPLICATION 

Although nutrient management implications 
of fertilizer and lime are discussed in detail in 
Chapter 5, this section considers the specific 
effects of fertilizer and lime on grassland 
establishment. The application of N and P 
fertilizer at establishment can improve plant 
emergence and seedling vigor, especially when 
soils have low fertility. Fertilizer application 
at seeding is useful irrespective of whether the 
purpose of a seeding is for forage production or 
quality, for biofuel/energy, or for conservation 
purposes such as C sequestration, water quality, 
or erosion control. The benefits are likely to be 
achieved more quickly and with less risk with 
appropriate fertilizer and lime application. 

Banded fertilizer application of N and P has 
considerable potential to reduce environmental 



impact of a seeding, compared to the negative 
impacts that might result from a poor or failed 
stand (Teutsch et al., 2000). Banded fertilizer 
placement is only possible with coulter-type 
(no-till) drills, and is not possible for broadcast 
planters such as a cultipacker or Brillion* 
seeder. These nutrients, placed near the seed, 
but not in contact with it, increase the number 
of emerged plants, shorten their time to 
emergence, and increase effectiveness of these 
nutrients at low application rates (Kroth et al., 
1976). Their study compared 48 combinations 
of N, P, and K in Missouri, and found that a 
fertilizer mixture of 17 kg N ha" 1 and 15 kg P 
ha" 1 , banded 2.5 cm below and 2.5 cm to the 
side of the seed, gave optimum establishment 
results for August and April seedings of reed 
canarygrass. 

Nitrogen 

Fertilizer N has variable effects on seedling 
emergence. Of the six articles summarized, 
three reported inhibited legume emergence, 
one found no response, and two found 
improved legume establishment with N 
fertilization (West et al., 1980; Seguin et al., 
2001). In Virginia, N fertilizer reduced the 
stands of alfalfa, white clover, red clover, and 
birdsfoot trefoil, whether sown alone or in 
mixture with orchardgrass (Ward and Blaser, 
1961), which was attributed to salt damage of 
the young seedlings as N rate was increased. 
Stands, root length, root weight and root:shoot 
ratio of birdsfoot trefoil and the botanical 
composition of orchardgrass-birdsfoot trefoil 
swards were not significantly influenced by 28 
kg N ha" 1 as starter fertilizer (Watson et al., 
1968). In one Missouri study with three alfalfa 
cultivars over 3 yr, 45-95 kg N ha" 1 decreased 
the establishing population to 88% of 
unfertilized plots, but still had a positive yield 
response (Peters and Stritzke, 1970). Grass 
establishment is usually responsive to fertilizer 
N (Kroth et al., 1976). 

The effect of N fertilizer at seeding also 
depends on the extent of weed control. In 
Missouri, alfalfa establishment in spring with 
appropriate weed control, adequate rainfall, 
and a fertile soil (pH 6.5, 1 10 kg P ha" 1 in soil) 
was improved with N at seeding in 2 out of 
the 3 yr studied (Peters and Stritzke, 1970). 
In the same study, but without chemical weed 
control, the alfalfa stand was reduced because 



u 



...benefits are 

likely to be 

achieved more 

quickly and with 

less risk with 

appropriate 

fertilizer and lime 

application 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



August seeded birdsfoot trefoil, 
at 2 months after planting 
without oat (compare with photo 
with oat as companion crop). 
Credit: Jennifer MacAdam, Utah 
State University. 



of competition from weed growth where N was 
used. 

With sod seeding in early spring, especially 
with incomplete kill of existing vegetation, 
there are some cases where N applications can 
reduce seedling emergence; presumably because 
of the greater competition from established 
vegetation that can smother the emerging 
seedlings. In Quebec, for example, N had 
variable effects on sod-seeded red, white, and 
kura clovers depending on the extent of control 
of the prior sward by herbicides (Laberge et al., 
2005). 

Phosphorus 

Four research papers were found that 
specifically addressed forage establishment and 
seedling emergence responses to P fertilizer 
application. In Ontario, seedling growth of 
alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, and smooth bromegrass 
was increased up to five times by banding 30 kg 
P ha 1 at 5 cm depth, prior to a surface seeding 
(Sheard, 1980). Growth and winter survival 
of an August seeding of reed canarygrass and 
the growth of an April seeding were stimulated 
by P in a low-fertility soil (Kroth et al., 1976). 
Pitman (2000) reported a linear yield response 
to P fertilizer up to 80 kg P ha" 1 for tall fescue 
during the establishment year in Louisiana. 
At four locations in Ohio, significantly greater 




shoot and root dry weight occurred with 
spring-seeded alfalfa when P was banded at 27 
kg P ha" 1 , with no significant difference in the 
plant population (Teutsch et al., 2000). The 
primary mechanism of the P response for grass 
and legume establishment was by promotion of 
root growth (Teutsch et al., 2000). Preferably, 
P should be soil-incorporated prior to seeding 
because it has low solubility (Doll et al., 1959). 

In some specialized situations, such as the 
establishment of native grassland, low P may be 
a necessary prerequisite for the establishment of 
species-rich vegetation. In Europe, low soil P, 
< 5 mg 100 g" 1 of dry soil, was an "indispensable 
prerequisite" for increasing species diversity in 
agricultural grasslands because P promoted the 
growth of the more productive and competitive 
species (Peeters and Janssens, 1998). 

Potassium (K) 

Three articles described K effects on seedling 
emergence; however, results were variable and 
showed an interaction with P. There was no 
effect of K on winter survival or growth of 
reed canarygrass from either August or April 
plantings (Kroth et al., 1976). Pitman (2000) 
found some K responses for tall fescue when 
seed were hand broadcast and incorporated 
by rotovator into a low-fertility soil of the 
Louisiana coastal plain, but responses were 
invariably better when P and K were used 
together. Similarly, in an earlier study with 
white clover at the same location, applying 
P and K fertilizer at seeding resulted in 12% 
more plants being established (Suman, 1954). 

Lime 

A correct soil pH is required for optimal 
seedling establishment, because acid soils 
reduce forage establishment rates, especially 
for alfalfa and other legumes. Soil acidity 
impairs the process of nodulation and reduces 
the ability of legumes to fix N. Soil acidity 
also slows seedling root growth during 
establishment and reduces plant availability of 
many essential nutrients. Early in the history 
of alfalfa establishment, the need to treat acidic 
soils with lime was well documented (Albrecht 
and Poirot, 1930). In general, surface- applied 
lime takes several weeks to change the soil 
pH, and lime or dolomite applications should 
be made and incorporated several months 
prior to seeding, rather than during or after 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



any seeding operation. Establishment of tall 
fescue in a low-pH soil (pH 4.9-5.8) was 
improved by lime applications at two of 
three Louisiana sites (Pitman, 2000). Lime 
seed coating was found to be ineffective in 
improving legume establishment into an acid 
(pH = 4.7) tall fescue pasture in Illinois (Olsen 
and Elkins, 1977). Presumably insufficient 
lime accompanied the seeding, and the authors 
concluded a presowing lime treatment of the 
soil might have had more positive results. 

Sulfur (S) 

In Saskatchewan, S was reported to have 
negligible influence on seedling emergence or 
survival of alfalfa, but did improve production 
at three trial sites (Hwang et al., 2002). 

Conclusion — Fertilizer Application 

We summarized 13 articles and found the 
most consistent improvements in grassland 
establishment were from applied P, with 
inconsistent responses for N and K, depending 
on interactions with species, other nutrients, 
and competition from unsown species. In 
general, the literature agrees with the Code 512 
General Criteria Applicable to all Purposes, 
that all plant nutrients and/or soil amendments 
for establishment purposes should be based 
on a current soil test. There is sufficient local 
variation that application rates, methods, and 
dates should be obtained from local plant 
materials centers, land grant and research 
institutions, extension agencies, or agency 
field trials. In the specific case of grassland 
establishment, recommendations for fertilizer 
application based on soil tests should use 
recommendations for seeding-year stands, 
because mature-stand recommendations are 
likely to be different. 

SITE AND SEEDBED PREPARATION, AND 
SEEDING METHOD 

Seeding methods for grassland species range 
from high-cost, high-input methods such as 
conventional establishment where the site is 
fully cultivated into a tilled seedbed, to low- 
cost, low-input methods such as frost seeding 
or livestock seeding. Seeding methods have 
been thoroughly described and reviewed by 
several authors (Wolf et al., 1996; Cosgrove 
and Collins, 2003; Masters et al., 2004; Hall 
and Vough, 2007). This section will focus on 



the most common establishment methods 
related to the Code 512 Purposes. 

Once successfully established, forages can be 
used to improve livestock/wildlife nutrition, 
reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, 
and eventually increase C sequestration 
regardless of the method used to achieve their 
establishment. In most cases, a variety of 
planting methods can be used to accomplish 
the primary intended Code 512 Purpose. A 
notable exception occurs with species that can 
only be vegetatively propagated because they 
do not produce viable seed. In specialized cases 
such as organic systems that preclude pesticide 
use, the primary intended purpose for the stand 
may influence which planting method would 
be most appropriate. In most cases, differences 
due to planting methods are usually short- 
lived and will often disappear by the second 
year of the stand if not sooner, assuming 
successful establishment of the desired species 
is accomplished. Our goal is to evaluate the 
success and the effects of seedbed preparation 
and establishment methods on ecosystem 
services during the establishment period. 

The goal of full seedbed preparation using 
tillage, fertilizer, and lime is to create an 
environment that optimizes the establishment 
of seed or vegetative propagules. An ideal 
seedbed is (1) very firm below planting depth, 

(2) well pulverized and friable surface soil, 

(3) not cloddy or puddled, (4) free from 
competition with resident vegetation, and 
(5) free of weed seeds (Vallentine, 1989). 
This latter factor of weed-free soil can rarely 
be achieved in a cost-effective and practical 
manner; however, steps should be taken to 
manage weed competition (see later). This 
ideal seedbed will enable placement of the 
seed or vegetative propagules at the proper 
depth and in firm contact with the soil. This 
ensures rapid movement of water from the soil 
to the seed, seedling, or vegetative propagule, 
resulting in greater likelihood of rapid and 
uniform germination and early seedling growth 
that leads to successful stand establishment 
(Bartholomew, 2005). 

Deviations from a tilled and prepared seedbed 
still need to meet the basic requirement of the 
seed or vegetative propagules being placed in 
good contact with the soil at the proper depth 



u 



The goal... 

is to create an 

environment that 

optimizes the 

establishment of 

seed 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



u 



Use of annual 
companion 
crops. ..is a 
common and 
successful 
practice 



for establishment (Bartholomew, 2005). Poor 
soil contact can result from cloddy or loose 
soil and usually results in uneven emergence, 
slow seed germination, or seedling desiccation, 
any of which can lead to other problems 
such as weed competition during the early 
establishment phase (Hall and Vough, 2007). 
Thus, alternative establishment methods 
may require more specific management to 
accomplish the desired objective of achieving 
a useable stand, including proper fertility, 
planting time, weed management, and 
adequate moisture supply after planting. The 
desired outcome may be more difficult to 
accomplish and, therefore, the risk of failure 
may be higher for alternative methods, yet the 
effort is environmentally more favorable. So 
these risks need to be balanced by economic 
costs and needs for environmental conservation 
during establishment. 

Establishment for Forage Production, 
Livestock and Wildlife Nutrition 

Use of annual companion crops such as 
spring-seeded small grain species or annual 
ryegrass when establishing perennial forage 
species is a common and successful practice, 
especially across northern latitudes of the USA. 
Companion crops usually have only short- 
term negative effects on forage production and 
nutritive value of the harvested forage (Table 
2.3). Harvesting the companion crop as forage 
instead of grain usually increases weed-free 
forage yield in the seeding year, especially at the 
first harvest, and particularly when compared 
with seedings made without a companion crop 
or without herbicides. 

The nutritive value of the combination of 
companion crop and perennial forage is 
usually lower than the nutritive value of the 
perennial forage crop seeded alone, but with 
herbicides used for weed control. However, 
the forage quality of the companion crop 
can be adequate for many classes of livestock 
(Sulc et al., 1993b). Although the companion 
crop does compete with developing perennial 
forage seedlings and decreases their yield in 
the seeding year, it reduces the density of 
weeds which can be even more competitive. If 
the companion crop has reduced seeding rate 
or is harvested early for forage to minimize 
competition to the desirable perennial species, 
by the second year the perennial forage stand 



will produce as well as if it were seeded alone 
with herbicides (Sulc et al, 1993a). 

Use of companion crops for perennial forage 
establishment is not advisable if it reduces 
success of the desired perennial species. For 
example, perennial forage species with poor 
seedling vigor cannot be easily established with 
companion crops due to excessive competition 
(Seguin et al., 1999; Acharya et al., 2006). 
Recommendations based on local research and 
proven experience should be followed. The 
popularity of companion crops has declined 
with the introduction of effective pre- and 
postemergence herbicides, however, it remains 
a viable practice for erosion-prone soils, for 
organic production, for growers who prefer to 
not use herbicides, or for situations in which 
high forage yield is needed in the seeding year. 

Using a row-type drill with press wheels to firm 
seed into a tilled soil is generally considered to 
be the superior method for planting forages, 
even with conventional tillage practices. Several 
studies have demonstrated that drilling with 
the same seeding rate results in greater forage 
plant density, faster establishment, and greater 
seedling growth during the early establishment 
phase than do broadcast seeding methods, which 
include broadcast cultipacker seeding (Tesar et 
al, 1954; Brown, 1959; Hartet al., 1968; Butler 
et al., 2008). There was no advantage of drilling 
after the establishment phase (Brown, 1959; 
Butler et al., 2008) indicating drilling seed is 
not superior to broadcasting seed on prepared 
seedbeds beyond the establishment year. Thus, 
seed placement methods have little effect over 
the long term provided the seed was placed in 
good contact with the soil and resulted in an 
adequate density of established plants. 

Past research has shown both positive and 
negative responses for forage establishment 
and early-season production when establishing 
forages with no-till, reduced tillage, or fully 
tilled seedings (Table 2.5). The studies and 
discussions in various reviews point out that 
a range of tillage methods can be used to 
establish forages successfully (Table 2.5), 
and achieve forage production for animal 
nutrition 2y"management principles specific to 
each method are followed (Wolf et al., 1996; 
Cosgrove and Collins, 2003; Masters et al., 
2004; Hall and Vough, 2007). 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



When using less tillage, especially when 
introducing new species into existing sods, 
controlling the existing vegetation and 
managing residues appropriately are extremely 
important to achieve acceptable stand 
establishment (Decker et al, 1969; Seguin, 
1998). For example, Cuomo et al. (2001) 
concluded that suppressing existing vegetation 
was more important than planting method 
when legumes are interseeded into cool-season 
grass pastures. Legumes established more 
quickly and dominated the sward after a grass 
sod was killed compared with being chemically 
suppressed (Koch et al., 1987). With sod 
seeding, forage yield is usually reduced during 
the period the existing sod is chemically 
suppressed and the introduced species becomes 
established; however, the resultant sward, 
including the new species, often shows higher 
yield, forage quality, digestible dry matter, and 
dry-matter intake by animals (Olsen et al., 
1981; Koch et al., 1987). 

Soil Erosion and Water Quality 

No research was found comparing 
establishment methods on soil erosion or water 
quality. Intuitively, full cultivation carries far 
greater risk of water or wind erosion, because 
there is a period of bare soil; however, this 
risk on flatter soil sites is usually considered 
acceptable compared to the benefits once 
the stand is established (Fig. 2.1). No-till 
establishment, especially on hill slopes, is 
likely to reduce the risk of erosion markedly 
compared to a tilled seedbed. The remnant 
dead vegetation and nondecomposed roots of 
the suppressed sod offer greater soil protection. 
In Wisconsin, reduced-tillage methods for 
establishing alfalfa in spring reduced surface 
water runoff volume and soil loss under rainfall 
simulation events (Sturgul et al, 1990). 
Surface residue reduced soil loss to near zero 
among tillage treatments, whereas no till after 
all surface residue had been removed resulted 
in water runoff and soil losses similar to 
moldboard plowing. 

Companion crops are often touted as a 
means to reduce soil erosion. In Wisconsin, 
an oat companion crop with spring-seeded 
alfalfa reduced soil loss to nearly half of that 
found when no companion crop was used. 
But dead crop residue on the soil surface and 
conservation tillage was even more effective at 



reducing soil loss (Wollenhaupt et al., 1995). 
Therefore, they recommended using crop 
residue management as a more effective method 
than companion cropping for erosion control 
during alfalfa establishment. In Oregon, no-till 
seeding of perennial ryegrass and tall fescue 
combined with approx. 9000 kg ha" 1 of straw 
residue on the soil surface following grass seed 
harvest reduced estimated soil erosion by 40 
to 77% compared with conventional tillage 
combined with low residue cover (Steiner et al., 
2006). 

Biomass 

For species with dual-purpose use as forage 
or biomass, planting methods are equally 
applicable for either purpose. Although 
biomass plantings may have harvest 
schedules different from forage production, 
this harvesting will not be affected by 
the establishment method. The optimum 
establishment methods vary between species, 
with seeded species such as switchgrass 
best established in spring by either no-till, 
reduced-till, or full cultivation, and vegetative 
species such as miscanthus best established in 
spring by sprigging of stolons or rhizomes into 
cultivated seedbeds. In general these biomass 
species take longer to become established, 
which lengthens the exposure to potential 
environmental degradation. 

Carbon Sequestration 

The effects of seeding method on C 
sequestration have not been addressed in 
the literature. Based on evidence from grain 
crops, any cultivation during the forage 
establishment process is almost certain to 
release large amounts of C0 2 from the soil to 
the atmosphere (Reicosky and Archer, 2007), 
or at a minimum, disrupt C sequestration that 
might have been occurring with the previous 
vegetation. In addition, there will be release 
of CO, from combustion of fossil fuels during 
the tillage process. Less disruptive methods 
such as no till will likely conserve more soil C, 
but data specific to forage establishment were 
not found. Skinner and Adler (2010) report 
positive C sequestration occurred during the 
3 yr period it took for switchgrass to establish 
following a no-till planting in Pennsylvania. 
In that study, no net C sequestration occurred 
in Year 4 because the established stand was 
harvested for biomass. 



u 



No-till 

establishment, 

especially on hill 

slopes, is likely to 

reduce the risk 

of erosion 

markedly 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.5. Summary of research on p 


anting methods. 1 






Method 


Species 


Location 


Summary 


Purpose 


Reference 


Tillage 


Alfalfa, meadow 
bromegrass 


Manitoba 


Year-1 yield of alfalfa and meadow bromegrass were 
unaffected by NT or CT seeding when canola or field pea 
were preceding crops; when following wheat the results 
were variable. With high postseeding rainfall and above- 
average wheat straw residue, establishment and early 
growth of meadow bromegrass, and to a lesser extent, 
alfalfa, were often reduced in NT. However, under low 
postseeding rainfall and average wheat straw residue 
levels, establishment and seedling development of both 
alfalfa and meadow bromegrass were enhanced in NT 
vs. CT seeding, probably because of greater soil water 
conservation. There were no treatment differences for 
forage yield the year after seeding. 


Production 


Allen and Entz 
(1994) 


Tillage 


Wheat, rye 


AR 


NT drilled superior to CT drilled and RT broadcast when 
rains were delayed; otherwise all methods were equal 
when timely rains promoted seedling emergence and 
growth in all systems. 


Production 


Bowman et al. 
(2008) 


Planters 


Tall fescue, 
hardinggrass, tall 
wheatgrass 


TX 


With CT, drilling seed resulted in greater forage yield than 
broadcast seeding. 


Production 


Butler et al. 
(2008) 


Tillage 


Annual ryegrass 


LA 


Annual ryegrass establishment and early-season 
production were less consistent with NT than CT; however, 
NT establishment success improved when managing warm- 
season grass residue prior to seeding with glyphosate or 
burning. 


Production 


Cuomo et al. 
(1999) 


Sod 
seeding 


Alfalfa, red 
clover, birdsfoot 
trefoil, kura clover 


MN 


Suppressing existing vegetation was more important 
than planting method when renovating cool-season grass 
pastures with legumes; various methods were successful for 
establishing legumes with adequate sod suppression. 


Production 


Cuomo et al. 
(2001) 


Sod 
seeding 


Kleingrass, Illinois 
bundleflower 


TX 


Disking or paraquat suppression of a kleingrass sod 
resulted in significantly higher seedling densities of 
interseeded Illinois bundleflower than without any sod 
suppression; broadcasting at twice the seeding rate 
resulted in equal or higher seedling densities compared 
with drilling seed. 


Production 


Dovel et al. 
(1990) 


Companion 
crop 


Alfalfa, oat 


SD 


Rank of seeding year weed-free forage yield was: Alfalfa 
plus oat companion for forage > alfalfa + EPTC herbicide 
> alfalfa alone > alfalfa plus oat companion for grain 


Production 


Hansen and 
Krueger(1973) 


Planters 


Tall fescue, white 
clover 


MD 


When planting tall fescue + white clover, drilling seed 
with a banded fertilizer produced better stands and higher 
forage yields than broadcast and incorporated fertilizer 
followed by broadcasting plus cultipacking the seedbed. 


Production 


Hart et al. 
(1968) 


Companion 
crop 


Oat, alfalfa 


IA 


Oat companion crop increased forage yield in seeding 
year and reduced weed density; however, forage quality 
and alfalfa densities were lower than drilled clear-seeded 
treatments; no yield or quality treatment differences the 
year after seeding 


Production 


Hoy et al. 
(2002) 


Tillage • 
fertilizer 


Alfalfa, 
orchardgrass, 
birdsfoot trefoil, 
timothy 


WY 


On soils with low pH, surface liming and NT planting 
resulted in less-vigorous seedlings, slower establishment, 
and lower seeding year yield than incorporated lime with 
CT seedbeds 


Production 


Koch and 
Estes(1986) 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



TABLE 2.5. continued. 



Method 


Species 


Location 


Summary 


Purpose 


Reference 


Sod 
seeding 


Alfalfa, red 
clover, timothy 


NH 


Adding legumes to grass swards can be accomplished 
without tillage and resulted in increased legume content, 
improved forage quality, and higher DM intake by dairy 
heifers. No differences in animal response from sod and 
conventional seedings. Legumes established more rapidly 
with sod kill (glyphosate) and dominated the sward 
compared with sod suppression (paraquat). Where initial 
fertility was low, tilling was better than sod seeding. 
Suppressing or killing the sod for legume establishment 
reduced seeding year yield but increased digestible DM 
48% and CP yield 75% the year after seeding compared 
with unseeded controls plus N fertilizer. Sod seeding with 
legumes can result in N fertilizer savings and improved 
nutrient yield where tillage is not practical. 


Production 


Koch et al. 
(1987) 


Companion 
crop 


Alfalfa, oat 


CA 


Planting alfalfa with an oat companion increased first- 
harvest forage yield relative to alfalfa seeded alone. 
Alfalfa yields at subsequent cuttings the first year were 
reduced by oat companion crop treatments; however, 
alfalfa yields the following year were equal in all 
treatments. The oat companion reduced weed biomass in 
both the first and second years compared with seeding 
alfalfa alone. 


Production 


Lanini et al. 
(1991) 

Mueller- 
Warrant and 
Koch (1980) 


Tillage • 
herbicide 


Alfalfa, 
quackgrass 


NH 


When seeding alfalfa into a quackgrass sod, treating with 
glyphosate was important for increasing alfalfa and total 
yields, especially when using MT. Applying glyphosate 
to control existing sod very near to planting time may, in 
some cases, lead to reduced alfalfa stand establishment 
and slower alfalfa seedling growth, possibly due to rapid 
release of allelophathic compounds from the decaying sod. 


Production 


Tillage 


Ladino clover, red 
clover, tall fescue 


IL 


Successful forage stands can be obtained with NT in 
wheat stubble provided good NT drills are used. Planting 
forages in late summer in wheat stubble enhanced winter 
cover, presumably providing better protection from soil 
erosion and water runoff. 


Production 
and erosion 


Olsen et al. 
(1978) 


Sod 
seeding 


Alfalfa, red 
clover, white 
clover 


IL 


Legume establishment in grass sod may be possible 
without chemical sod suppression, temporary chemical 
suppression is usually desirable to ensure legume 
establishment. Legumes enhanced DM yield over the long 
term; alfalfa was the most productive and long-lived sod- 
seeded legume; red and ladino clover were well suited for 
short-term stands. 


Production 


Olsen et al. 
(1981) 


Companion 
crop 


Kura clover, oat 


MN 


Oat companion crop increased total weed-free forage 
yields in Year 1 , but reduced kura clover yield by 46% 
in Year 1 and later years compared with solo seeding 
with herbicide; seed production only occurred with solo 
seeding with herbicides; solo seeding with herbicide is 
more reliable than oat companion crop seeding for kura 
clover establishment. 


Production 


Seguin et al. 
(1999) 


Companion 
crop 


Oat, barley, 
alfalfa 


MN 


Semidwarf and conventional oat and barley genotypes 
performed similarly as companion crops for alfalfa 
establishment; companion crops reduced weed biomass 
and increased alfalfa plant mortality during establishment 
but did not lower alfalfa yield at later harvests. 


Production 


Simmons et 
al. (1995) 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.5. continued. 



Method 


Species 


Location 


Summary Purpose Reference 


Tillage 


Perennial 
ryegrass, tall 
fescue, creeping 
red fescue 


OR 


NT seeding combined with high straw residue cover Soil Steiner et al. 
reduced estimated soil erosion 40-77% compared with CT erosion (2006) 
and low-residue cover seeding of cool-season grasses. NT 
plus high-residue cover reduced costs 60-84%. 


Tillage 


Perennial 
ryegrass, tall 
fescue, creeping 
red fescue 


OR 


Seed yields of cool-season grasses that were NT were Production Steiner et al. 
equal to or higher than when established with CT. High (2006) 
straw residue cover at seeding did not adversely affect 
grass seed yield 


Tillage 


Alfalfa 


Wl 


Year-1 alfalfa yield and quality did not vary among Production Sturgul et al. 
moldboard plow, chisel plow, and NT seedbed (1990) 
preparation treatments. 


Tillage • 

companion 

crop 


Alfalfa, oat 


Wl 


Relative to moldboard plowing for seedbed preparation, 
chisel plowing reduced surface water runoff volume 23- 
72% and NT seeding reduced volumes 59-100%; soil loss 
was reduced 24-64% with chisel plow and 71-100% with 
NT; however, NT with all surface residue removed had the 
highest runoff volumes for four of five rainfall simulations, 
and soil losses were similar to moldboard plowing for 
all rainfall simulations; there was no evidence of canopy 
development effect on runoff volumes; however, canopy 
development contributed to reduced soil losses within 
treatments, with the greatest reduction in the moldboard 
plus nurse-crop treatment that, at near full canopy, reduced 
soil loss by 96% compared with 0% canopy cover in the 
same treatment. 


Soil erosion 


Sturgul et al. 
(1990) 


Companion 
crop 


Annual ryegrass, 
alfalfa 


Wl 


Annual ryegrass companion crops for alfalfa establishment 
increased forage yield but decreased forage quality 
in Year 1 compared with solo-seeded alfalfa. Where 
conditions favored vigorous ryegrass growth, alfalfa stand 
establishment was reduced. Early-maturing diploid annual 
ryegrass cultivars were the least competitive with alfalfa 
establishment. 


Production 


Sulc and 
Albrecht(1996) 


Companion 
crop 


Annual ryegrass, 
alfalfa 


Wl 


Rainfall quantity and distribution during the season, 
companion crop species and cultivar selection, seeding 
rate, and harvest management affect forage yield and 
alfalfa plant density in the year after establishment. 
Ryegrass was less competitive with alfalfa than oat in dry 
years, but the reverse was true in wet years. Early removal 
of the companion crop as forage reduced the competition 
with alfalfa. 


Production 


Sulc et al. 
(1993a) 


Companion 
crop 


Annual ryegrass, 
alfalfa 


Wl Ryegrass-alfalfa mixtures can provide higher-quality forage 
than oat-alfalfa mixtures in the first harvest of Year 1 , but 
not at subsequent harvests, especially when adequate 
rainfall promotes vigorous seeding year ryegrass growth. 


Production 


Sulc et al. 
(1993 b) 


Planters 


Alfalfa, birdsfoot 
trefoil 


Ml 


Banding seed on the soil surface directly over a P-fertilizer 
band 4 cm deep resulted in more legume seedlings and 
taller, more vigorous plants than were obtained with 
broadcast seed on similarly fertilized soil. Seedlings had 
to be directly over or within 2.5 cm of the fertilizer band to 
obtain over 60% of their P from the fertilizer during the first 
2 mo of growth. 


Production 


Tesar et al. 
(1954) 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



TABLE 2.5. continued. 



Method 


Species 


Location 


Summary 


Purpose 


Reference 


Frost 
seeding 


Smooth 
bromegrass, 
orchardgrass, 
perennial 
ryegrass, reed 
canarygrass, 
timothy, red 
clover 


Wl 


Frost seeding temperate forage species into aging 
alfalfa can increase plant diversity and forage yield 
while suppressing weeds; species differed in rate of 
establishment. 


Production 


Undersander 

etal. (2001); 

Casler et al. 

(1999) 


Tillage • 

companion 

crop 


Alfalfa oat 


Wl 


Seeding alfalfa with an oat companion reduced soil 
loss to nearly 50% that of alfalfa sown alone, but crop 
residue on the soil surface with CT was more effective 
than a companion crop in reducing soil loss; authors 
concluded crop-residue management is more effective 
than companion cropping for erosion control during 
alfalfa establishment. Surface water runoff volumes were 
not consistently reduced by CT and were dependent on 
previous site conditions. 


Soil 
erosion 


Wollenhaupt 
etal. (1995) 


Companion 
crop 


Annual ryegrass, 
festulolium 


Wl 


Annual ryegrass or festulolium can be used as companion 
crops for perennial forage legume establishment to 
enhance overall quality of harvested forage in the seeding 
year compared with an oat companion and will increase 
yield over soloseeded alfalfa; however, in years that favor 
aggressive ryegrass growth, legumes establish more slowly 
and may produce less forage even in Year 2. 


Production 


Wiersma et 
al. (1999) 



'Abbreviations: CT, conventional tillage (usually by full cultivation); NT, No-tillage (or conservation tillage); MT, minimum tillage; RT, reduced; DM, dry matter; CP, crude protein 



Specialized Methods 

The review of Wolf et al. (1996) described 27 
forage establishment methods. Although some 
were variations of the two main methods, full 
cultivation or no-till establishment, there are 
many other specialized establishment methods 
that have used successfully. The most common 
methods are described. 

Sprig seeding is used for establishing plants 
vegetatively, usually from plant stolons, after 
tillage. This is most commonly used for 
bermudagrass (Greene et al., 1992). Stolons 
are harvested from an established nursery field 
and transported to a prepared target area. The 
stolons are distributed over the land surface 
by hand or by machine, and then buried to a 
shallow depth with the use of a lightweight disk 
at a low angle of cultivation. 

Frost seeding is used to introduce species, 
especially legumes, into existing sods by 
broadcasting the seed on frozen soils and 
relying on the freeze— thaw cycles in late winter 
to achieve the necessary seed-soil contact 



for germination and emergence in the spring 
(Undersander et al., 2001; Blaser et al., 2006, 
2007). This method has been used successfully 
by many forage producers, and has been 
shown to increase plant diversity and forage 
yield while suppressing weeds (Casler et al., 
1999; Undersander et al., 2001). The freeze- 
thaw cycles that occur in later winter and early 
spring provide sufficient surface disturbance 
that seed have adequate soil contact for 
establishment. 

Frost seeding can be suitable for fast- 
establishing species such as most legumes, 
but is not suitable for most grass species. The 
proportion of seed that actually emerges can 
be as low as 5-10% of seed sown, so higher 
seeding rates are recommended. The likelihood 
of successful establishment from broadcast 
seeding into established vegetation can be 
improved by minimizing the surface vegetation 
to allow seed-soil contact, by using livestock 
to tread seed into the soil, and by controlling 
growth of the existing vegetation with 
herbicides or grazing to reduce competition 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



with the establishing seedlings for light 
(Blackmore, 1965; Lambert et al. 1985). 

Natural reseeding is the application of 
knowledge about the reproductive processes 
within natural grasslands or managed 
grasslands. Naturalized annual species such as 
annual poa, subterranean clover and annual 
lespedeza are dependent on natural reseeding 
for their ongoing survival. In the case of short- 
lived perennial species, natural reseeding can be 
encouraged by delaying grazing or harvest until 
seed ripens and drops onto the soil; however, 
this is only relevant for long-lived seed such 
as those legumes that are not autotoxic, and is 
not recommended for grass species that tend 
to have short seed longevity in soil. Secondly, 
the canopy needs to be managed during seed 
germination to reduce competition as the 
young seedlings become established. Although 
it can seem attractive to generate a seed 
population by natural reseeding, the seed is 
typically of low quality, and establishes poorly 
in the competitive stand, so other pasture 
improvement mechanisms are usually preferred. 

Natural reseeding was used successfully in a 
wheat— fallow rotation in the northern Great 



Plains (Carr et al., 2005) by introducing forage 
legumes into the rotation by no-till planting. 
The perennial rotation improved soil structure, 
improved nutrient cycling, reduced soil erosion, 
and improved economic and environmental 
sustainability of crop production. The main 
requirement was the production of sufficient 
legume seed each year to regenerate the stand 
the following year. Species with sufficient 
natural regeneration were balansa, berseem, 
crimson, persian, and red clovers; birdsfoot 
trefoil; and black and burr medics (Carr et al., 
2005). 

Spray seeding is a method where the seed is 
broadcast onto the soil surface with the use 
of a variety of liquid or dry carrier materials, 
which may include additives such as nutrients 
and fungicides. The resultant mixture is 
sprayed or broadcast over the target area. This 
method is most commonly used for small 
areas that may be too steep for mechanical 
cultivation, and is not widely used for field 
seedings; however, spray seeding followed 
by rolling with a cultipacker has been used 
successfully on flatter sites and conventionally 
tilled seedbeds, which allows planting of large 
areas in a short time. 



White clover 4 mo after frost 
seeding in March into a tall 
fescue sod in Ohio. The pasture 
was grazed to expose bare 
soil for seeding, then control 
grazed to reduce competition. 
Credit: David Barker, Ohio State 
University. 







Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



Conclusion -Site Preparation and 
Planting Methods 

General Criteria of Code 512 specify following 
recommendations for planting methods 
obtained from the plant materials program, 
land grant and research institutions, extension 
agencies, or agency field trials. In our summary 
of 28 publications we found satisfactory 
establishment from many methods, typically 
with a trade-off between cost and establishment 
success. Given the number of site-preparation 
options, the number of establishment options, 
the number of species and their intended 
purpose, the best advice on seeding method 
and management will come from local 
specialists. They know the characteristics of 
the local climate, soils, and adaptation of 
the plant species proposed to extrapolate the 
principles from other locations and link with 
the overall goals of the producer to maximize 
the probability of success. 

The Code 512 Criteria also specify preparation 
of the site to provide a medium that does not 
restrict plant emergence. Although supported 
in broad terms by the literature, caution is 
required, because: 

1. Excessive site preparation and cultivation 
can disrupt the structure of some soils to 
an extent that might impair emergence, 
e.g., if the soil becomes crusted following 
rainfall. 

2. Excessive site preparation may detract from 
other purposes, such as erosion control, C 
sequestration, or cost effectiveness. 

3. Cultivation can stimulate weed 
germination. 

4. Some methods (frost seeding and no-till) 
do not require the same extent of site 
preparation as full cultivation. 



The Code 512 Considerations specify that 
where air-quality concerns exist site preparation 
and planting techniques that will minimize 
airborne particulate matter generation and 
transport should be considered. The general 
literature supports the use of alternatives from 
full tillage to reduce dust and disturbance 
that frequently are associated with relatively 
bare soils. These data should be transferable 
to forage plantings. The Code 512 Plans and 
Specifications also specify site preparation, 



seedbed preparation, and method of planting. 
Given the environmental and economic costs 
of these steps, thorough assessment at the local 
level of the various options for site preparations 
and establishment is imperative. 

CLIMATIC FACTORS AFFECTING 
SEEDING DATE 

Seeding date is one of the most critical 
components of establishment success. The USA 
has such a wide range of environments that 
successful establishment may occur somewhere 
in almost every month of the year. The two 
climatic variables having the greatest influence 
on establishment success are temperature 
(Townsend and McGinnies, 1972a; Hsu et al., 
1985a, 1985b; Brar et al, 1991; Kalburtji et 
al., 2007) and soil moisture (Roundy, 1985; 
Clem et al, 1993; Awan et al., 1995). 

Each region has very specific periods within 
which planting is recommended, based 
largely on a high probability of adequate soil 
temperature and moisture (Sulc and Rhodes, 
1997; Table 2.6). Typically, cool-season grasses 
are established in late summer in northern 
states or in autumn in the transition zone 
and lower latitudes (see Figs. 1.1 and 1.2). 
Legumes can also be planted at the same time, 
but require more time than cool-season grasses 
to achieve sufficient winter hardiness. Most 
warm-season species have higher minimum 
temperatures for germination and seedling 
growth and are planted in late spring. There 
was no evidence in the literature that planting 
date should change with the intended purpose 
of the resultant stand. 

Soil Moisture. Rainfall subsequent to planting 
may have more influence on establishment 
success than moisture conditions at the time 
of planting (Bell et al., 2005). Barker et al. 
(1988) analyzed 14 establishment studies 
and found time to emergence was most 
closely correlated with rainfall occurring 
the week immediately after seeding. 
Cumulative rainfall during the 2 wk after 
seeding was poorly correlated with time to 
emergence, and cumulative rainfall during 
the month after seeding was unrelated to 
emergence. Germination percentages of 
crested wheatgrass, intermediate wheatgrass, 
smooth bromegrass, and Russian wildrye 



u 



...thorough 

assessment at 

the local level 

of the various 

options for site 

preparations and 

establishment is 

imperative. 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.6. Summary of research or 


i latest date for fall planting at various locations and forage species. 


Species 


Location 


Date 


Reference 


Alfalfa 


Southern Saskatchewan 


1 November 


Kilcher (1961) 


Alfalfa 


Northern Wisconsin 


1 August 
Mid-August 


Undersander et al. (1991) 
Undersander et al. (1991) 


Alfalfa 


Southern Wisconsin 


Alfalfa 


Northern Michigan 


1 August 


Tesar(1983) 


Alfalfa 


Southern Michigan 


Mid-August 


Tesar(1983) 


Alfalfa 


North Dakota 


1 August 


Undersander et al. (1991) 


Alfalfa 


Minnesota 


1 August 


Undersander et al. (1991) 


Alfalfa 


Northern New York 


Early August 


Cherney and Hansen (201 1) 


Alfalfa 


Southern New York 


Mid-August 


Cherney and Hansen (201 1) 


Alfalfa 


Pennsylvania 


1 August 


Hall (1995) 


Alfalfa 


Central Pennsylvania 


Mid-August 


Terrill (1961) 


Alfalfa 


Southern Pennsylvania 


1 September 


Terrill (1961) 


Alfalfa 


Maryland 


1 September 


Hofmann and Decker (1971) 


Alfalfa 


North Carolina 


Mid-September 


Mueller and Chamblee (1984) 


Alfalfa 


Central California 


Mid-September 


Marble and Peterson (1981) 


Birdsfoot trefoil 


New York 


Late July 


Cherney and Hansen (201 1) 


Birdsfoot trefoil 


Pennsylvania 


1 August 


Hall (1995) 


Creeping foxtail 


Wisconsin 


Mid-August 


Undersander and Greub (2007) 


Crested wheatgrass 


Southern Saskatchewan 


1 November 


Kilcher (1961) 


Crested wheatgrass 


Montana 


28 September 


White and Currie (1980) 


Green needlegrass 


Southern Saskatchewan 


1 November 


Kilcher (1961) 


Intermediate wheatgrass 


Southern Saskatchewan 
Montana 


1 November 
28 September 


Kilcher (1961) 
White and Currie (1980) 


Intermediate wheatgrass 


Orchardgrass 


Wisconsin 


Mid-August 


Undersander and Greub (2007) 


Orchardgrass 


Pennsylvania 


Mid-August 


Hall (1995) 


Perennial ryegrass 


Wisconsin 


Mid-August 


Undersander and Greub (2007) 


Perennial grasses 


Northern New York 


Mid-August 


Cherney and Hansen (201 1) 
Cherney and Hansen (201 1) 


Perennial grasses 


Southern New York 


Late August 


Perennial ryegrass 


Pennsylvania 


Late August 


Hall (1995) 


Red clover 


Pennsylvania 


1 August 


Hall (1995) 


Reed canarygrass 


New York 


Late July 


Cherney and Hansen (201 1) 


Reed canarygrass 


Pennsylvania 


1 August 


Hall (1995) 


Reed canarygrass 


Wisconsin 


Mid-August 


Undersander and Greub (2007) 


Russian wildrye 


Southern Saskatchewan 


1 November 


Kilcher (1961) 


Russian wildrye 


Montana 


1 2 September 


White and Currie (1980) 


Smooth bromegrass 


Wisconsin 


Early August 


Undersander and Greub (2007) 
Undersander and Greub (2007) 


Tall fescue 


Wisconsin 


Mid-August 


Timothy 


Wisconsin 


Early September 


Undersander and Greub (2007) 


Thickspike wheatgrass 


Southern Saskatchewan 


1 5 September 


Kilcher (1961) 



were decreased and time to germination was Planting during periods of high soil moisture 

delayed by 1-2 wk as soil moisture decreased may result in soil compaction by heavy 

from field capacity to permanent wilting point equipment or damage to soil structure from 

(McGinnies, 1960). cultivation when the soil is too wet. The 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



sensitivity of germination and early growth 
to low soil moisture varies with location 
and establishment method. Broadcast 
planting methods (such as frost seeding) are 
more sensitive to variable temperature and 
precipitation than methods that insert seed into 
the soil. 

Soil moisture for germination and 
establishment can be more easily controlled in 
irrigated systems. In semi-arid regions where 
summer precipitation is inconsistent, the 
soil should be irrigated prior to fall seeding, 
leaving sufficient time for a final cultivation 
before planting to reduce weeds and for 
sufficient seedling growth before frost. Where 
flood irrigation is used, fields must be leveled 
to prevent high or low spots where seedling 
establishment could fail because of drought 
or flooding stress. Where sprinkler irrigation 
is available, the surface soil can be kept moist 
during germination and establishment by short, 
frequent irrigations. For a high-value cash crop 
such as alfalfa hay that will be flood-irrigated 
for regrowth, use of a sprinkler irrigation 
system for establishment may be justified. 
Other considerations for establishment 
of alfalfa under irrigation can be found in 
Summers and Putnam (2008). 

Seed germination rate is the first critical step 
to successful establishment. Germination 
usually occurs near the soil surface, and studies 
show that measured moisture of the upper 
10 or 15 cm of the soil are poor predictors 
of establishment success. In contrast, Awan 
et al. (1995) measured moisture of just the 
surface soil using a novel method and found 
those measurements could be used to predict 
germination success. 

Temperature. Among 10 perennial legumes, 
alfalfa germinated readily at day/night 
temperatures that ranged from 8/2°C to 
24/18°C (Hill and Luck, 1991). In contrast, 
birdsfoot trefoil and red, white, kura, and 
strawberry clovers germinated readily at the 
three higher temperatures and had depressed 
germination at 12/6 or 8/2°C. Crownvetch, 
cicer milkvetch, and sericea lespedeza 
germinated and developed above 20°C. 
Rate of seedling growth for a species had 
a response to temperature that was similar 
to the response of germination (Hill and 



Luck, 1991). The optimum germination and 
emergence temperature for six vetch species was 
between 1 8°C and 23°C, whereas the optimum 
temperature for root growth of these species 
was slightly higher, between 20°C and 25°C 
(Mosjidis and Zhang, 1995). Root growth is 
critical to ensure water and nutrient uptake. 

Planting of cool-season forages in spring in 
many locations is more sensitive to excessive 
soil moisture than to cool temperatures. 
However, the establishment of warm-season 
grasses is slowed by low soil temperatures. 
Although stratification improved germination 
of the warm-season perennial grasses big 
bluestem, Caucasian bluestem, indiangrass, and 
switchgrass (Hsu et al., 1985a, 1985b), rates 
of warm-season grass development in the field 
were more rapid for later planting dates (Hsu 
and Nelson, 1986b). The optimal planting 
dates in Missouri for these grasses fell between 
late April and mid-May, when soil temperature 
was warmer than 10°C, but before soil moisture 
was depleted (Hsu and Nelson, 1986a). 

Eastern gamagrass has a high level of seed 
dormancy that can be improved by natural 
stratification. Seed planted in Iowa in either 
mid-August or late October experienced 
natural winter stratification and had higher 
germination in spring than seed planted in 
spring or summer (Gibson et al, 2005). But 
this was not found in all cases (Aberle et al., 
2003). Dallisgrass germination was improved 
by flooding and high defoliation intensity 
of the competing plants which reduced 
evapotranspiration and created gaps in the 
canopy that increased the red:far-red light 
ratio that stimulates growth and significantly 
improved establishment (Cornaglia et al., 
2009). Mosjidis (1990) found that the 
germination percentage of eight genotypes 
of sericea lespedeza, a warm-season legume, 
increased linearly by 20% for every 3°C as day/ 
night temperatures increased from 18/14°C 
to 30/26°C; the optimum temperature for 
germination was between 20°C and 30°C (Qiu 
etal, 1995). 

Planting cool-season grasses and legumes in 
late summer or early autumn is advantageous 
because it allows an annual crop to be harvested 
before planting, and because warmer, drier 
conditions mean that weed and disease 



u 



Seed germination 

rate is the first 

critical step 

to successful 

establishment. 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



A cultipacker-type seed drill 
used for a spring seeding in 
Ohio. Seed is dropped between 
the front and back rollers, which 
are offset slightly so the back 
roller covers the seed. Credit: 
Mark Sulc, The Ohio State 
University. 



pressures are generally lower than in early 
spring. It is recommended that cool-season 
species be planted early enough for 6 wk of 
shoot and root development and adequate 
carbohydrate storage to occur before the first 
killing frost (Cosgrove and Collins, 2003). In 
Minnesota, seedlings of the legumes alfalfa, red 
clover, sweetclover, and alsike clover could not 
develop adequate winter hardiness until they 
had developed about seven to nine trifoliate 
leaves (Arakeri and Schmid, 1949). 

Hall (1995) and Undersander and 
Greub (2007) reviewed the literature on 
recommended late summer/early autumn 
planting dates for alfalfa. In Pennsylvania, 
Hall (1995) seeded alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, 
red clover, orchardgrass, perennial ryegrass, 
and reed canarygrass in spring and found 
seeding-year yield decreased linearly with each 
day of delay after the recommended seeding 
date. In Wisconsin, Undersander and Greub 
(2007) evaluated late- autumn seeding dates 
for orchardgrass, smooth bromegrass, timothy, 
reed canarygrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall 
fescue. Based on germination in autumn and 
establishment in early spring the dormant 
seeding failed four times out of five, and is 
not recommended. However, in the dry upper 
Great Plains, with 370 mm average annual 
rainfall, 1 November seedings were consistently 
more successful than May seedings for 




alfalfa, crested wheatgrass, green needlegrass, 
intermediate wheatgrass, and Russian wildrye 
(Kilcher, 1961). 

Fall plantings of alfalfa, crested wheatgrass, 
smooth bromegrass, and slender wheatgrass 
survived winter in the northern Great Plains 
if they reached the three-leaf stage before the 
ground froze (White and Horner, 1943). 
Planting by 1 September was recommended 
if there was moisture in the soil, because 
germination was slowed at later dates as 
soil temperatures decreased. Under dryland 
conditions in Montana, mid- to late-September 
plantings resulted in good establishment of 
crested wheatgrass, intermediate wheatgrass 
and Russian wildrye (White and Currie, 1980). 
These species survived planting as late as mid- 
October if they produced two leaves before the 
soil froze (White, 1984). These small seedlings 
grew significantly more the following year than 
did dormant-seeded plants that germinated 
in spring. Seedlings with three or more leaves 
at the beginning of spring could be grazed 
by midsummer of the following year, and 
produced more herbage dry matter by autumn 
than seedlings with fewer leaves in spring. 

Ries and Svejcar (1991) tied the successful 
establishment of crested wheatgrass and blue 
grama to their development of adventitious 
(i.e., nodal) roots into subsoil water. The cross- 
sectional area of xylem in adventitious roots was 
several times that of seminal roots, indicating 
adventitious roots were needed to transport 
sufficient water to support continuing leaf 
expansion. By the time adventitious roots were 
8-10 cm long, four-six leaves had developed on 
the main axis and tillering had begun. 

The usefulness of tillering as a measure of grass 
seedling establishment was confirmed in a 
study of prairiegrass, grazing bromegrass, and 
orchardgrass that showed seedlings did not 
survive winter unless they had begun to tiller 
before ceasing growth in autumn (Sanderson 
et al, 2002). Undersander and Greub (2007) 
also identified tillering following fall planting 
was the factor best correlated with yield in the 
following spring. 

Some nonleguminous forbs, often annuals, 
have high forage quality and have potential 
for use in grassland systems. Turnip planted 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



in late July in West Virginia produced the 
greatest top and root dry matter that autumn 
compared to earlier or later plantings (Jung 
and Shaffer, 1995). In contrast, mid-September 
seedings of chicory and plantain developed two 
fully expanded leaves, but were not developed 
sufficiently to overwinter in Pennsylvania 
(Sanderson and Elwinger, 2000). 

The average worldwide air temperature has 
increased by about 1°C over the last century 
(Easterling et al., 1997) and grassland 
establishment has likely been affected. A long- 
term study in northeast Colorado determined 
that annual net primary production of 
buffalograss, the dominant native grass of the 
shortgrass prairie, decreased with increase in 
minimum air temperature, whereas that of 
both native and exotic forb species increased 
(Alward et al, 1999). In Florida, studies of 
the direct effect of increased temperature 
and C0 2 concentration demonstrated that 
rate of photosynthesis and resulting rates of 
establishment and initial plant growth increased 
with higher C0 2 concentrations (Fritschi et 
al., 1999). Rhizoma peanut benefited more 
from higher CG> 2 concentrations than did 
bahiagrass, but temperature increase benefited 
biomass production of bahiagrass more than 
rhizoma peanut (Fritschi et al., 1999). For the 
future these responses to global change need 
to be researched, including any environmental 
impact that might occur during establishment. 

Conclusion — Planting Date 

The Code 512 General Criteria specify 
recommendations for planting dates obtained 
from the plant materials program, land grant 
and research institutions, extension agencies, 
or agency field trials. These principles are well 
established for most geographic areas and focus 
on temperature and water as primary factors. 
However, rather than basing seeding time 
or method on the current temperature and 
moisture conditions, the literature indicates 
planting should be timed to precede a sufficient 
period of favorable temperature and rainfall. 

No studies were found describing fall seeding 
and dormant seeding effects on soil erosion 
or ecosystem services. But based on other 
data with cover crops it is presumed that with 
little ground cover and small plants there 
would be environmental risks associated with 



these seeding methods. Timing seeding to 
ensure tillers can develop should help reduce 
the areas bare of ground cover, and having 
a better-developed adventitious root system 
should improve the capacity of the seedlings to 
stabilize the upper layers of soil. These topics 
need more research on the environmental risks 
of having minimal ground cover over winter. 
This also applies to plantings of annual forbs 
and expectations of additional risks due to 
climate change. 

RATES OF SEEDING 

Seeding rate is one of the most important 
variables determining the success of a new 
seeding. Seeding rate can be measured as 
either the weight of seed per unit area, or the 
number of seeds per unit area. The conversion 
between these two measures is the specific seed 
weight (i.e., g seed 1 )) and this conversion varies 
among species, cultivars, and even seed lots. 
Seeding rates should be based on the delivery 
of PLS per unit area, and thus also needs to 
account for hard seed, the percent germination 
of the seed being planted, and the presence 
of inert materials such as impurities and seed 
coatings. To evaluate the criteria and purposes 
of the standard we summarized 25 articles that 
evaluated the effect of seeding rate on grassland 
establishment, forage and biomass production, 
and forage nutritive value (Table 2.7). No study 
was found that related seeding rate uniquely to 
ecosystem purposes such as soil erosion, water 
quality, C sequestration, or wildlife. 

Recommended seeding rates vary by species, 
location and intended use of the stand. The 
recommended rates are usually not a specific 
value, but a defined range of number of seed 
to apply per unit area. Recommended seeding 
rates have been determined over the years from 
research and experience in the field (Table 
2.7). Recommended rates tend to be higher 
for broadcast than drilled stands to offset 
poorer seed-soil contact and are lower in drier 
climates. Drier climates typically have less 
seed and seedling mortality due to diseases, 
and higher seeding rates can decrease stand 
productivity because of excessive intraspecies 
competition for water. Lower rates are also 
usually recommended for conservation 
plantings where ground cover and not forage 
production may be the primary objective. 



u 



Seeding rates 

should be based 

on the delivery 

of PLS per unit 

area 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.7. Summary of research on seeding rates of forages.' 



Species 


Optimum or 
recommended 
Seed rates tested seeding rate 


Other notes 


Location 


Reference 


Annual and companion crops 


Triticale 


50, 75, 100 kg ha" 1 100 kg ha" 1 


Optimal rate was 75 kg ha -1 for grain Alabama 


Bishnoi 
(1980) 


Wheat, winter rye 


50, 75, 1 00 kg ha" 1 75-1 00 kg ha" 1 


Optimal rate was 50 kg ha -1 for grain Alabama 


Bishnoi 
(1980) 


Wheat, triticale 


1 00-400 seed rrr 2 


300-400 seed 
m- 2 


Oversown with red clover by frost seeding; Iowa 
seeding rates impacted red clover dry 
matter within specific harvest periods, 
but the impact diminished with time and 
had no effect on seasonal forage total or 
subsequent spring yield of red clover 


Blaser et al. 
(2007) 

Gibson et 
al. (2008) 


Triticale, 
companion to 
alfalfa 


1 98-594 seed rrr 2 374 PLS rrr 2 


Quadratic grain yield response, maximum Iowa 
profit at 374 seeds nr 2 . Increasing triticale 
seeding rate had no effect on alfalfa 
density and yield. 


Turnip 


1.7-5.0 kg ha- 1 Not stated 


Seeding-rate effects were significant for Pennsylvania 
yield of tops and roots only 1 0% and 
5% of the time, respectively. This was not 
expected, but may have been because of 
seeding in rows. 


Jung and 

Shaffer 

(1993) 


Sudangrass, 
sorghum • 
sudangrass 


13.5-54 kg ha- 1 


Not stated 


Plant density and total seasonal forage 
yield increased as seeding rate increased 
to the highest rate, especially at the narrow 
row spacing. Increasing seeding rate 
reduced crude protein and increased lignin 
content for the first harvest of the three-cut 
system, but there was no seeding-rate effect 
on forage quality of subsequent cuttings. 

Oat companion crop at 9 kg ha- 1 
dramatically increased forage yield 
compared with no oat companion, and 
yield increases at higher oat seeding rates 
were small. Highest forage yields were 
predicted to occur at oat seeding rates of 
24-27 kg ha -1 ; however, oat at 1 8 kg ha -1 
was considered best for optimizing yields, 
reducing weeds, and not affecting alfalfa 
yield the year after seeding (oat always 
reduced alfalfa yield in Year 1 ). 


Wisconsin 


Koller and 

Scholl 

(1968) 


Oat, companion 
crop to alfalfa 


0-36 kg ha- 1 


1 8 kg ha" 1 


California 


Lanini et al. 
(1991) 


Barley, oat, 
triticale with 
undersown 
berseem clover 


30-240 plants rrr 2 


60-90 plants 
rrr 2 


Cut-1 total yield increased and clover Alberta 

content decreased with increasing cereal 

density. Berseem clover regrowth (cut 2) 

was lowest for intercrops with the highest 

cereal density and increased linearly 

as cereal density decreased. Effect of 

cereal density on total seasonal yield was 

inconsistent across years, but seeding 

cereals to achieve plant density of 60-90 

plants m -2 (25-40% of full recommended 

rate) usually improved forage quality 

without reducing total season yield of 

cereal-berseem clover intercrops. 


Ross et al. 
(2004) 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



TABLE 2.7. continued. 



Species 


Seed rates tested 


Optimum or 
recommended 
seeding rate 


Other notes 


Location 


Reference 


Perennial and biennial species 


Alfalfa 


4.5-17.9 kg ha- 1 


13.5 kg ha- 1 


Under irrigation, each increase in seed rate 
increased forage yield in Year 1 . Under 
dryland, no yield differences above 13.5 
kg ha" 1 seed rate in Year 1 . Year 2 yield 
increased up to 9 kg ha -1 at one location 
and up to 1 3.5 kg ha -1 at the two other 
locations. Crude protein content of forage 
was not affected by seed rate. Root and 
crown weight of alfalfa decreased as seed 
rates increased up to 13.5 kg ha-'. At 4.5 
kg ha -1 , alfalfa plant size the year after 
seeding did not sufficiently compensate to 
maintain yield. 


South 
Dakota 


Hansen 
and 

Krueger 
(1973) 


Alfalfa 


3-27 kg PLS ha" 1 


17 kg ha" 1 


Initial seedling densities were a near 
linear function of seeding rate, and those 
rankings remained consistent as stands 
thinned over 4 yr; plant mortality was much 
greater at high than low densities in Year 
1 ; doubtful that rates above 1 7 kg ha -1 
would increase useful life of the stand and 
provided no long-term measurable benefit; 
rates below 1 7 kg ha -1 had lower plant 
density for up to 4 yr after planting. 


Missouri, 
Pennsylvania 


Halletal. 
(2004) 


Alfalfa 


1.1-22.4 kg ha- 1 


7.8 kg ha- 1 


Recommended rate of 7.8 kg ha -1 in 
Montana to obtain 30 seedlings nr 1 of row; 
seeding-year yield was directly proportional 
to seeding rate, but yield the following year 
was not affected by seeding rate. 


Montana 


Cooper et 
al. (1979) 


Alfalfa 


1 0-40 kg ha- 1 


10 kg ha" 1 


At the lowest seeding rate, 40-52% 
of seeds produced established plants, 
decreasing to 31-44% at the highest 
seeding rate. Stand density declined most 
rapidly in the first year. By Year 4, greatest 
percentage plant mortality had occurred 
at the highest seeding rate (75-85%) 
compared with 49-68% mortality of 
original emerged plants at the low seeding 
rate. Seed rate affected total 3-yr yield in 
one of three experiments, and had little or 
no influence of crude protein and leaf-to- 
stem ratio. 


Spain 


Lloveras et 
al. (2008) 


Alfalfa, under oat 
companion 


1 8-36 kg ha- 1 


No effect 


Alfalfa seeding rate did not impact yield or 
forage composition. 


California 


Lanini et al. 
(1991) 


Alfalfa and red 
clover, seeded 
into suppressed 
grass sod 


4.4-17.6 kg ha- 1 


17.6 kg ha- 1 


Seeding rate effects on legume yield were 
dependent on location, legume species and 
grass competitiveness. Seeding rates of at 
least 1 7.6 kg ha-' appeared to increase 
establishment year alfalfa and red clover 
yields when high levels of grass competition 
exist, and alfalfa may benefit more from 
higher seeding rates than red clover. 


Minnesota 


Sheaffer 
and 

Swanson 
(1982) 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.7. continued. 



Species 


Optimum or 
recommended 
Seed rates tested seeding rate 


Other notes 


Location 


Reference 


Red clover 


0-1 500 seed m- 2 900-1200 
seeds m -2 


Frost seeded into winter cereals, 1 1-40% 
of red clover seed established mature 
plants with actual densities of 46-3 1 4 
plants m -2 ; increasing seeding rate 
increased DM yield but had no effect on 
forage quality. 


Iowa 


Blaser et 
al. (2006, 
2007) 


Red clover, with 
and without 
timothy or tall 
fescue 


6-1 8 kg ha' 1 


12 kg ha" 1 


Total mixture forage yield, digestible 
organic matter, and crude protein content 
were not markedly affected by red clover 
seed rate; but red clover DM, DOM, and 
CP were increased as red clover seed rate 
was raised due to increases in red clover 
component. 


Scotland 


Frame et 
al. (1985) 


Tall fescue, with 
red clover 


6-1 8 kg ha- 1 


Not stated 


Tall fescue increased DM yield by 10 
and 29% in Years 1 and 2, respectively, 
compared with red clover alone, but did 
not increase total forage organic matter 
digestibility, but decreased crude protein 
content. Increasing grass seed rate 
intensified the effects as it decreased the 
red clover component in the sward. 


Scotland 


Frame et al. 
(1985) 


Timothy, with red 
clover 


2-6 kg ha- 1 


2-4 kg ha- 1 


Timothy increased DM yield by 6.5 and 
10% in Years-1 and 2, respectively, 
compared with red clover alone; timothy 
increased total forage organic matter 
digestibility, but decreased CP content. 
Increasing grass seed rate intensified 
the effects as it decreased the red clover 
component in the sward. 


Scotland 


Frame et al. 
(1985) 


Perennial 
ryegrass 

Bahiagrass 


1 0-30 kg ha- 1 


Not stated, no 
differences 


All treatments sown with white clover at 
3 kg ha -1 ; grass seed rate did not affect 
total DM production or white clover 
performance. 


Scotland 


Frame and 
Boyd (1986) 


5.6-50.4 kg ha" 1 


Not stated, 
no long term 
advantage- 
higher rates 


Increasing seeding rate increased 
bahiagrass emergence, tiller density 
(nearly linearly), and Year-2 cover, but 
yield advantages were small; advantages 
of higher rates were short lived. 


Georgia, 
Florida 


Gates and 

Mullahey 

(1997) 


White clover, 

perennial 

ryegrass 


10/0, 8/5,5/10, 
3/15, 0/20 kg ha- 1 
for white clover/ 
ryegrass 


Not stated 


Sowing rate had large effect on clover 
content in Year 1 , and higher clover 
sowing rate gave higher production in 
the first year, but this effect disappeared 
by Year 3; there was little effect of 
sowing rate on crude protein content; 
amount of DM removed by grazing 
decreased as ryegrass sowing rate 
increased (clover content decreased) in 
the first year, but this effect disappeared 
by Year 3. 


Australia 


Kelly et al. 
(2005) 





Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



TABLE 2.7. continued. 



Species 


Seed rates tested 


Optimum or 

recommended 

seeding rate Other notes 


Location 


Reference 


Big bluestem 


1 1 0-440 PLS m- 2 


1 10-220 Big bluestem frequency usually increased 
PLS m~ 2 , with with increasing seeding rate; successful 
herbicides establishment occurred in three of four 
environments at 1 10 PLS rrr 2 , and in all 
environments at the higher seeding rates; 
seeding rate influenced yield in three 
of four environments; if pre-emergent 
herbicides are used, high-yielding stands 
of big bluestem can be established at 
seeding rates of 1 1 or 220 PLS m~ 2 . 


Nebraska 


Masters 
(1997) 


Hairy vetch, with 
wheat 


0-162 PLS m- 2 for 
HV, 324 PLS m- 2 for 
wheat 


For high-quality Forage yield decreased but crude protein 
seed vetch at content and digestibility increased with 
162 PLS m~ 2 increasing vetch seeding rate, which was a 

function of the increasing vetch component 

in mixture. 


Illinois 


Roberts et al. 
(1989) 


Switchgrass 


Evaluated varying 
grid frequency levels 
on farmer fields 


40% grid Establishment-year stand grid frequencies 
frequency of 40% or greater can be considered 
an establishment-year stand threshold 
indicating successful establishment and 
subsequent postplanting year biomass 
yields for switchgrass. Establishment- 
year grid frequency of 25% would be 
adequate for conservation plantings 
where no harvests were planned for 
several years. 


Nebraska, 

South 

Dakota, 

North 

Dakota 


Schmer et al. 
(2005) 


Ryegrasses, 
companion to 
alfalfa 


215-645 PLSm- 2 


215 PLS m~ 2 Increasing ryegrass seeding rate had 
no effect on total mixture Year-1 yield 
in environments with adequate rain but 
decreased forage yield in dry years. 
Seeding-year alfalfa yield was decreased 
by increasing ryegrass seeding rate. The 
lowest ryegrass seeding rate reduced 
competition with alfalfa, improved forage 
quality in the seeding year, and reduced 
the changes of suppressing alfalfa stand 
establishment. 


Wisconsin 


Sulc et al. 
(1993a) 


Smooth 

bromegrass, 

orchardgrass, 

perennial 

ryegrass, reed 

canarygrass, red 

clover 


0-880 PLS m- 2 


Orchardgrass Species were frost seeded into aging 
> 220 PLS m~ 2 ; alfalfa stand. Forage yield increased 
timothy > 440 with seeding rate at sites with the 
PLS m~ 2 ; smooth greatest initial establishment of frost- 
bromegrass, seeded species, but the response was 
100-200 highly variable. Generally, the fast- 
PLS m~ 2 most establishing species (i.e., perennial 
economical ryegrass, orchardgrass, and red clover) 
had significant responses of grass 
or legume dry matter contribution to 
increasing seeding rate, whereas the 
slow species (i.e., reed canarygrass, 
smooth bromegrass, and timothy) 
did not. 


Wisconsin 


Undersander 
etal. (2001) 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.7. continued. 



Species 


Seed rates tested 


Optimum or 

recommended 

seeding rate Other notes 


Location 


Reference 


Switchgrass 


3.4-16.8 PLSm- 2 


3.4 kg PLS ha -1 Greater seeding rates increased seedling 
number, tiller number, and forage yield, 
but slightly decreased digestibility and 
crude protein of the forage. Seeding date 
had a greater effect than seeding rate on 
forage yield and quality. Highly productive 
switchgrass stands were obtained during 
the establishment year with mid-April to 
early-May seeding dates at rates of only 
3.4 kg PLS ha -1 when atrazine was used for 
weed control. 


Iowa 


Vassey et 
al. (1985) 


Big bluestem, 
switchgrass 


107-430 PLSm- 2 


100-200 PLS When atrazine is used as pre-emergence 
m~ 2 herbicide, seeding rates greater than 200 
PLS m~ 2 of switchgrass and big bluestem 
are not necessary for obtaining adequate 
stands, and lower rates may be sufficient 
in many years, especially for conservation 
plantings. 


Nebraska 


Vogel 
(1987) 



'Abbreviations: PLS, pure live seed; DM, dry matter; CP, crude protein; DOM, digestible organic matter. 



The primary goal of any seeding is to achieve 
a minimum plant population that will 
result in a productive stand or, at least, a 
stand able to fulfill the purpose for which 
it was planted. Recommended seeding rates 
usually exceed the minimum desired plant 
population, to allow a safety margin because 
all seed will not emerge as seedlings. Many 
studies demonstrate, however, that there is 
rarely any sustained benefit to increasing 
seeding rates above the documented 
recommended range (Table 2.7). There may 
be an initial yield or quality response to 
higher seeding rates, but this advantage is 
short-lived (rarely exceeding 1 yr) and cost 
associated with the higher seeding rate is 
rarely justified. 

There have been a number of studies aimed 
at defining the best species and the optimal 
seeding rates for companion crops used 
during the establishment of perennial species 
(Table 2.7). Many companion crops can also 
be used for grain production, and research 
has demonstrated that seeding rates of a 
companion crop should be lower than when 
planted for grain production to avoid excessive 
competition, especially for light, with the 
weaker perennial species. In contrast, in the 
rare case these companion (annual) crops are 



planted as monocultures, the optimal seeding 
rate for forage production is usually higher than 
when it is sown for grain production because 
the purpose is a rapid cover of leaf mass rather 
than the grain (Bishnoi, 1980). 

Sometimes seeding-rate recommendations 
are increased based on planting method 
or conditions. For example, a Texas study 
found that Illinois bundleflower broadcast 
into a grass sod required twice the seeding 
rate to achieve the same seedling density 
as for drilling (Dovel et al., 1990). In most 
cases, the better option is to use the best 
seeding method and management rather 
than attempting to overcome adverse 
establishment methods or conditions with 
increased seeding rates. 

Conclusion — Rates of Seeding 

The Code 512 General Criteria specify 
recommendations for planting rates obtained 
from the plant materials program, land grant 
and research institutions, extension agencies, 
or agency field trials. This section summarized 
25 articles and found no benefits for seeding 
rates higher than those recommended by state 
agencies. Seed size varies among species and 
cultivars, and seeding rate should be adjusted to 
deliver seed on a PLS basis. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



PLANTING DEPTH 

Proper planting depth is one of the critical 
factors determining success of a grassland 
planting. Utilizing the proper depth will 
maximize emergence and seedling growth to 
allow quicker establishment. Seed of forage 
species are typically smaller than most grain 
crops and, additionally have a large range of 
seed shapes and sizes, so planting equipment 
should be adjusted to seed at the appropriate 
depth. We summarized 30 articles and found 
no evidence that planting depth should vary 
depending on the eventual purpose for the 
seeding. 

Establishment From Seed 

Successful establishment is dependent upon 
placement of seed in a favorable environment 
for germination and subsequent emergence 
(Tables 2.8 and 2.9). The ideal planting depth 
depends on seed size, soil texture, soil moisture 
availability, time of seeding, and firmness of 
the seedbed. The most important consideration 
for determining planting depth of a given 
species is seed size. In general, larger seed can 
emerge from greater depths. There is a trade-off 
between increased water availability at greater 
soil depths, especially in arid environments, 
and the ability of seedlings to emerge from 
lower depths (Townsend, 1979). A general rule 
of thumb is that seed should not be planted 
deeper than seven times its diameter, with the 
optimum depth being four to seven times the 
diameter (Masters et al, 2004). 

Even within a species, variation in seed 
size can affect the ideal planting depth. In 
Wyoming, the smaller alfalfa seed germinated 
and emerged better from 0.6 cm, whereas 
larger seeds benefit from the deeper placement 
(Erickson, 1946). This same study also found 
that alfalfa seed size was more important than 
planting depths between 0.6 and 1.7 cm. 
A common problem in arid environments 
is shallow and soil surface planting which 
causes seedlings to desiccate and die before 
becoming established (Cosgrove and Collins, 
2003), because bare surfaces lose water more 
rapidly than when protected by litter (Winkel 
et al., 1991). However, extremely small seeds 
may be an exception because their emergence 
seems to be optimal when placed on the soil 
surface (Cox and Martin, 1984), and seedling 



vigor can be compromised by deeper plantings 
(Tischler and Voigt, 1983). 

Planting depth should vary with soil texture 
(Aiken and Springer, 1995). As a general 
rule, small seeded species should be planted 
slightly deeper in sandy soils (1.2-2.5 cm) 
compared to loam or clay loam soils (0.6—1.2 
cm). Bermudagrass is very small seeded, and 
its recommended planting depth is 0-1.3 
cm (Taliaferro et al., 2004), with an optimal 
depth of 0.6 cm (Keeley and Thullen, 1989). 
Proper seed placement is difficult to regulate 
unless the seedbed is firm to prevent seeding 
too deep (Masters et al., 2004). Typically seed 
should be covered with enough soil to maintain 
moist conditions for germination, but not so 
deep that the shoot cannot reach the surface 
(Zhang and Maun, 1990; Roundy et al, 
1993; Cosgrove and Collins, 2003). Moisture 
conditions at planting and the subsequent 
precipitation were the most important factors 
affecting successful establishment (Townsend, 
1979). 

Establishment success will also vary with the 
degree of soil compaction, partly because 
compaction improves the capillary flow of 
water to the seed and seedling, yet too much 
compaction restricts the ability of seedlings 
and their roots to penetrate through the 
soil. Soil moisture near the surface increased 
as compaction increased from to 83 kPa 
(0-12 psi) and was positively related to the 
emergence percentage of alfalfa seed (Triplett 
andTesar, 1960). Conversely, switchgrass was 
able to germinate and emerge from 8 cm in 
loose soil, but only 10% of seeds emerged 
when compaction was 6.9 kPa (1 psi) and no 
seedlings emerged with pressure of 69 kPa (10 
psi) (Hudspeth and Taylor, 1961). In addition 
to moisture, soil compaction also affects 
oxygen diffusion, soil temperature, and light 
penetration, all of which influence germination 
and emergence (Hudspeth and Taylor, 1961). 
In some species, the red:far red ratio of light 
that penetrates through the soil can regulate 
seed dormancy; however, this has not been well 
documented for forage seed (Cornaglia et al., 
2009). 

Vegetative Establishment 

Hybrid bermudagrass is typically planted 
as sprigs, which are vegetative propagules 



u 



The most 

important 

consideration 

for determining 

planting depth of 

a given species is 

seed size" 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.8. Summary of pi 


iblished literature on planting 


depth for legume species 


, environment, and 


soil type. 












Planting depth 


Species and cultivar 
(if stated) 


Environment 1 


State 


Soil type(s) 


Tested 


Optimum 


Reference 


cm 




Alfalfa 'Vernal', 
'Ranger' 


G/Fl 


Iowa 


Webster silty clay 
loam 


1.3,2.5,3.8 


1.3 


Beveridge and 
Wilsie(1959) 


Alfalfa 'Vernal 


F2 


Michigan 


Conover silt loam, 
Hillsdale sandy loam 


0,0.6, 1.3,2.5 


1.3 


Triplett and Tesar 
(1960) 


Alfalfa 'Vernal', 
'Ranger' 


G/Fl 


Iowa 


Webster silty clay 
loam 


1.3,2.5,3.8 


1.3 


Beveridge and 
Wilsie(1959) 


Alfalfa 


G 


Ohio 


Miami silt loam 


0,0.6, 1.3,2.5 


0.6-1.3 


Moore (1943) 


Alfalfa 'Grimm' 


G/Fl 


Minnesota 


Carrington, Clinton, 

Clarion silt loams, 

Merrimac loamy sand 


0, 1.3,2.5,5.1, 
7.6 


0-1.3 


Murphy and Amy 
(1939) 


Falcata alfalfa 
'Baker' 


F3 


Colorado 


Vona sandy loam 


1.3,2.5,3.8 


1.3 


Townsend (1992) 


Aisike clover 


G 


Ohio 


Miami silt loam 


0,0.6, 1.3,2.5 


0.6-1.3 


Moore (1943) 


Arrowleaf clover 
'Yuchi' 


F4 


Texas 


Norwood fine sandy 
loam 


0, 1.0, 2.5,4.0 


1.3 


Richetal. (1983) 


Birdsfoot trefoil 
'Empire' 'Viking' 


G 


Kansas 


Unknown soil 


1.3,2.5,3.8 


1.3 


Stickler and 
Wassom(1963) 


Cicer milkvetch 
'Lutana' 


F3 


Colorado 


Nunn clay loam 


1.3,2.5,3.8 


1.3-2.5 


Townsend (1979) 


Crimson clover 


G 


Tennessee 


Cumberland silt loam 


0.6, 1.3,2.5, 
3.8 


0.6-1.3 


Moore (1943) 


Striate lespedeza, 


G 


Tennessee 


Cumberland silt loam 


0.6, 1.3,2.5 


0.6-1.3 


Moore (1943) 


Korean lespedeza 


G 


Tennessee 


Cumberland silt loam 


0.6, 1.3,2.5 


0.6-1.3 


Moore (1943) 


Sericea lespedeza 


G 


Tennessee 


Cumberland silt loam 


0.6, 1.3,2.5 


0.6-1.3 


Moore (1943) 


Sericea lespedeza 
'Serala 76' 


Fl 


Alabama 


Hiwassee sandy loam 


1,3 


1.0-3.0 


Qiu and Mosjidis 
(1993) 


Red clover 


G 


Ohio 


Miami silt loam 


0,0.6, 1.3,2.5 


0.6-1.3 


Moore (1943) 


Red clover 


G/Fl 


Minnesota 


Merrimac loamy sand 


0, 1.3,2.5,5.1, 
7.6 


0-1.3 


Murphy and Amy 
(1939) 


Sweetclover 
'Madrid' 


F5 


Montana 


Unknown sandy loam 


0,0.6, 1.3, 2.5, 

3.8,5.1 ,6.4, 

7.6 


0.6-5.1 


Gomm (1964) 


Sweetclover 


G/Fl 


Minnesota 


Carrington, Clinton, 

Clarion silt loams, 

Merrimac loamy sand 


0, 1.3,2.5,5.1, 
7.6 


0-1.3 


Murphy and Amy 
(1939) 


Sweetclover, white 

Sweetclover, yellow 
'Madrid' 

Sweetclover, yellow 


G 


Ohio 


Miami silt loam 


0,0.6, 1.3,2.5 


0.6-1.3 


Moore (1943) 


Fl 


Nebraska 


Sharpsburg silty clay 
loam 


1.9,3.8,5.7 


1.9 


Haskins and Gorz 
(1975) 


G 


Ohio 


Miami silt loam 


0,0.6, 1.3,2.5 


0.6-2.5 


Moore (1943) 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



TABLE 2.8. continuec 











Planting depth 




Species and cultivar 
(if stated) 


Environment 1 


State 


Soil type(s) 


Tested Optimum 


Reference 


cm 


Woollypod vetch 
lana' 


G 


California 


Unknown sand 


1.0,5.0, 10.0, 
15.0 


1-15 


Williams (1967) 


White clover 


G/Fl 


Minnesota 


Carrington, Clinton, 

Clarion silt loams, 

Merrimac loamy sand 


0, 1.3,2.5,5.1, 
7.6 


0-1.3 


Murphy and Amy 
(1939) 



G, Greenhouse; Fl , Field - natural rainfall; F2, Field - irrigated at planting; F3, Field - irrigated; F4, Field - 1 29-256 mm irrigation at 28 d; F5, Field - 304-406 mm 

irrigation 



comprised of tillers, rhizomes, or stolons. 
Research from the 1950s is still relevant and 
recommendations have remained unchanged. 
Sprigs should generally be planted 3-5 cm 
deep into moist soil (Taliaferro et ai, 2004). 
Chiles et al. (1966) reported a decrease in sprig 
emergence as depth increased from 2.5 cm to 10 
cm, with 'Greenfield', 'Midland', and 'Coastal' 
bermudagrass. 'Coastal' was negatively affected 
by planting deeper than 5.1 cm. Under dryland 
conditions, sprigs should be planted 5.1-6.4 cm 
deep; if irrigated, sprigs should be planted 3.8- 
5.1 cm deep (Stichler and Bade, 1996). Some 
newer hybrids, such as 'Jiggs' and 'Tifton 85', can 
also be planted using "tops" which are stolons or 
aboveground stems. For a "top" to take root, it 
must be mature, at least 6 wk old, and have six or 
more nodes (Stichler and Bade, 1996). 

The biomass species miscanthus and giant 
reed are sterile and can only be established 
vegetatively from rhizomes or stems (Huisman 
and Kortleve, 1994; Decruyenaere and Holt, 
2001). Most research plantings have been done 
by hand; however, commercial planting of 
rhizomes and stems can be done with the use 
of adaptations of existing equipment, such as 
potato or bulb planters. 

Conclusion — Planting Depth 

The General Criteria of Code 512 specify 
planting at a depth appropriate for the seed 
size or plant material while assuring uniform 
contact with soil. We summarized 30 articles 
that overwhelmingly supported the specification 
of planting at the proper depth to achieve the 
purpose of successful establishment of forage and 
biomass. Generally, small seeds should be planted 
near the soil surface and larger seeds should be 



planted deeper to ensure adequate coverage by 
the soil. A good guide is to plant seed no deeper 
than seven times the seed diameter. 

Operation and Maintenance specifications of 
Code 512 recommend that the operator will 
inspect and calibrate equipment to ensure 
proper rate and depth of planting material. 
Recalibration will be required when changing 
the species, or perhaps even cultivars, because 
seed sizes vary. 

PROTECTION OF PLANTINGS - 
POSTSEEDING MANAGEMENT 

During the period between seedling 
emergence and utilization for the intended 
purpose, a new pasture can be mowed or 
grazed to reduce weed competition and 
water requirements, and thus enhance its 
establishment. Mowing or grazing reduce 
competition from weeds on the desirable 
species and allow the stand density to increase 
by tillering. Conversely, the risk of mowing 
or grazing too early is that the stand can 
thin from plants destroyed by the physical 
disturbance from mowing or 'pulling' during 
grazing. One anecdotal guideline is to use the 
"pull" test to ensure that seedling roots are 
sufficiently developed to withstand grazing. 
In this section, we discuss postseeding 
mowing and grazing management during 
establishment. 

Almost all research on postseeding management 
has been on grasslands that are intended for 
livestock and/or hay production. There is little 
information on the postseeding management 
of grasslands intended for erosion control, 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.9. Summary of published literature on planting depth for grass species, environment, and soil type. 



Species (and cultivar if stated) 


Environment 1 


State 


Soil type(s) 


Planting depth 
Tested Optimum 
cm 


Reference 


Bromegrass 'Gala' 


G/Fl 


Pennsylvania 


Hagerstown silt loam 


1.0,3.0,6.0 1-3 


Sanderson and 
Elwinger (2004) 


Buffelgrass 


G 


Texas 


Hildago sandy clay 
loam 


0,0.6, 1.2,2.4 0.6-1.2 


Mutz and Scifres 
(1975) 


Buffelgrass 


G 


Texas 


Clareville clay loam 


0,0.6, 1.2,2.4 0.6-1.2 


Mutz and Scifres 
(1975) 


Buffelgrass 


G 


Texas 


Victoria clay 


0,0.6, 1.2,2.4 0.6 


Mutz and Scifres 
(1975) 


Eastern gamagrass 'Pete' 


Fl 


Iowa 


Canistio silty clay loam 


2.5, 5.0 2.5-5.0 


Aberle et al. 
(2003) 


Kleingrass 'Selection 75' 


G 


Texas 


Valera clay 


1,2,4,4,6,8 0-6 


Tischler and 
Voight(1983) 

Sanderson and 
Elwinger (2004) 


Orchardgrass 'Dawn' 
'Pennlate' 


G/Fl 


Pennsylvania 


Hagerstown silt loam 


1.0,3.0,6.0 1-3 


Orchardgrass 


G 


Ohio 


Miami silt loam 


0,0.6,1.3,2.5 0.6-2.5 


Moore (1943) 


Perennial ryegrass 'Madera' 
'Mongita' 'Moranda' 


G/Fl 


Pennsylvania 


Hagerstown silt loam 


1.0,3.0,6.0 1-3 


Sanderson and 
Elwinger (2004) 


Prairiegrass (rescuegrass) 
'Matua' 


G/Fl 


Pennsylvania 


Hagerstown silt loam 


1.0,3.0,6.0 1-3 


Sanderson and 
Elwinger (2004) 


Smooth bromegrass 'Lincoln' 


G 


North Dakota 


Lihen sandy loam 


0.6,2.6,5.1, 2.6 
7.6, 10.2 


Ries and 
Hofmann (1995) 

Murphy and Amy 
(1939) 


Reed canarygrass 


G/Fl 


Minnesota 
Nebraska 


Carrington, Clinton, 
Clarion silt loams, 
Merrimac loamy sand 


0, 1.3,2.5,5.1, 0-1.3 
7.6 


Smooth bromegrass 'Lincoln' 


Fl 


Kennebec silt loam 


1.5,3.0,4.5, 1.5 
6.0 


Newman and 
Moser(1988) 


Sudangrass 


G 


Ohio 


Miami silt loam 


0,0.6, 1.3,2.5, 0.6-5.1 
3.8,5.1 


Moore (1943) 


Sudangrass 


G 


Tennessee 


Cumberland silt loam 


2.5,5.1,7.6, 2.5-5.1 
10.2 


Moore (1943) 


Switchgrass 'Alamo' 


G 


Alabama 


Unknown loamy sand 


0,0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 0.5-2.5 
2,2.5 


Miller and 
Owsley (1994) 


Switchgrass 'Alamo' 


G 


Alabama 


Unknown clay loam 


0,0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 1.0 
2,2.5 


Miller and 
Owsley (1994) 


Switchgrass 'Blackwell' 


F4 


Texas 


Pullman clay loam 


0.6, 1.3,3.8, 0.6-1.3 
6.4 


Hudspeth and 
Taylor (1961) 


Switchgrass 'Pathfinder' 
'Trailblazer' 


Fl 


Nebraska 


Kennebec silt loam 


1.5,3.0,4.5, 1.5-3 
6.0 


Newman and 
Moser(1988) 


Switchgrass-local ecotype 


G 


Canada 


Unknown sand 


0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 2-8 
10, 12, 14, 16 


Zhang and Maun 
(1990) 


Tall fescue 'KY3T 


G 


Oklahoma 


Unknown sandy loam 


1.3,2.5,3.8, 0.6-3.8 
5.1 


Walker et al. 
(2001) 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



TABLE 2.9. continued. 



Species (and cultivar if stated) 


Environment 1 


State 


Soil type(s) 


Planting depth 


Reference 


Tested Optimum 


cm 


Tef-VNS 


G 


Kansas 


Keith silt loam 


0,0.6, 1.3, 
2.5,5 


0.6-1.3 


Evert et al. 
(2009) 


Timothy 


G 


Ohio 


Miami silt loam 


0,0.6, 1.3,2.5 


0.6-1.3 


Moore (1943) 


Timothy 


G/Fl 


Minnesota 


Carrington, Clinton, 
Clarion silt loams 


0, 1.3,2.5,5.1, 
7.6 


0-1.3 


Murphy and Amy 
(1939) 


Timothy 


G/Fl 


Minnesota 


Merrimac loamy sand 


0, 1.3,2.5,5.1, 
7.6 


0-1.3 


Murphy and Amy 
(1939) 



'G, Greenhouse; Fl , Field - natural rainfall; F4, Field - 1 29-256 mm irrigation at 28 d. 



biomass, or wildlife. These latter uses are also 
probably optimized by successful and rapid 
establishment so postseeding management is 
likely to be similar for all purposes. Regardless 
of the final use, during this part of the 
establishment period there is continued risk for 
environmental degradation. 

Recommendations for postharvest management 
vary with factors such as seeding date, location, 
and seeding mixture. One detailed study on 
spring-seeded alfalfa in Minnesota found that 
under optimal conditions, seeding year yield 
was maximized when the initial harvest was 
made 60 d after spring emergence (compared 
with 40 d or 80 d) followed by two or three 
subsequent harvests (Sheaffer, 1983). The 
harvest schedules that resulted in the greatest 
total season yield varied among locations 
and years. In Wisconsin, an annual ryegrass 
companion crop harvested 60 d after spring 
planting (and subsequent harvests at 33-d 
intervals) reduced alfalfa yield and stand 
density compared with delaying the initial 
harvest until 67 d or 80 d (Sulc et al., 1993a). 

Grazing during establishment to reduce 
competition depends on site-specific 
conditions. Contrary to the recommendation 
at that time of not grazing new stands of 
crested wheatgrass during the seeding year, 
Hull (1944) found that under ideal conditions 
in Idaho, moderate grazing may be practiced. 
Without herbicide use grazing is necessary 
for establishment of seedlings when seed is 
broadcast or no-till drilled into established 
stands (Barker and Dymock, 1993). Existing 



vegetation needs to be controlled by regular 
mowing or grazing to reduce competition and 
allow light to the establishing seedlings. 

In Florida, grazing to 7.5 cm resulted in a 
greater contribution from joint vetch that 
had been broadcast into limpograss pasture, 
compared to grazing to 1 5 cm (Sollenberger 
et al, 1987). In a species-poor permanent 
grassland in Germany, forbs were broadcast 
seeded to increase species diversity and 
nutritive value (Hofmann and Isselstein, 
2005). In that study, the best results were from 
mowing nine times before the spring seeding 
at weekly intervals to simulate grazing, and 
then every 3 wk after seeding. This carried over 
to the second year where the addition of forbs 
increased long-term yield, but the frequent 
cutting had a negative effect on total yield. 

Conclusion — Postseeding Management 

In the General Criteria, Code 512 specifies 
that livestock shall be excluded until the plants 
are well established. This is not supported by 
the literature as grazing can be an effective 
method of vegetation control during 
establishment. We summarized six articles 
that compared postseeding management 
treatments, and there was consensus for 
site- and species-specific management in the 
year of planting. There is evidence of benefits 
from some mowing and/or grazing to reduce 
competition from weeds or other forage plants 
during the establishment period that can allow 
increased tillering and root growth to improve 
establishment success. One guideline is to use 
the "pull" test to ensure that seedling roots are 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



u 



Options for weed 
control include 
mowing, grazing, 
companion crops, 
and chemical 
control. 



sufficiently developed to withstand modest 
grazing. 

PROTECTION OF PLANTINGS -WEED 
MANAGEMENT 

The primary benefit of weed control is to 
enhance the establishment of the sown species, 
and minimize competition from nonsown 
species in the resultant stand (Barker et al., 
1988). Options for weed control include 
mowing, grazing, companion crops, and 
chemical control. 

Most research on weed control during 
establishment has been for grasslands for 
which production is the goal. We did not 
find any literature comparing weed control 
practices during establishment for those 
being established for purposes such as erosion 
control, C sequestration, wildlife, or biomass 
production. Intuitively, they are probably 
similar to that for production. However, some 
options, such as herbicides, are not acceptable 
for establishing forages for organic production. 

Mowing 

Mowing for weed control in forages is generally 
not very effective (Miller and Strizke, 1995) 
because it is nonselective and may occur too 
late to reduce competition between weeds and 
the seedlings. Late mowing may remove the 
tops of legume seedlings forcing the young 
seedlings to regrow from the base. And, if late, 
the greater amount of residue remaining on 
the field may continue to shade the seedlings. 
However, mowing can prevent weeds from 
going to seed and contributing to the soil 
seed bank. It is sometimes the best option to 
suppress grassy weeds, especially when trying to 
establish perennial grass species in grass-legume 
mixtures where no herbicides are approved. 

Mob Grazing 

Mob grazing is stocking a high density of 
animals in an area for a short duration (up to 
1 wk). It reduces selective grazing by livestock 
to some extent, and thus can be effective in the 
control of grass weeds and allowing sunlight to 
the new seedlings (Miller and Strizke, 1995). 
In addition, the grazed material is removed 
from the area and no longer shades. However, 
grazing must be delayed until seedling roots 
are well established or the seedlings can be 



uprooted. Often, as with mowing, the efficacy 
of mob-grazing is only moderate, because it 
is applied too late to have maximum benefit 
in reducing weed competition for moisture, 
sunlight, and nutrients, and damage to the soil 
from foot traffic may be significant. Further, 
unpalatable weeds might not be grazed and 
the young forage seedlings may be preferred to 
weed species. 

Companion Crops 

Companion crops such as annual ryegrass, oats, 
rye or triticale are sometimes seeded at reduced 
rates and used with spring-seeded alfalfa in 
northern latitudes to provide quicker ground 
cover, help reduce wind and water erosion, and 
deter weed growth during forage establishment 
(Kust, 1968; Schmid and Behrens, 1972; 
Chapko et al., 1991; Becker et al., 1998; 
Jefferson et al., 2005). Use of companion crops 
should be based on site-specific conditions such 
as erosion potential and forage needs during the 
establishment year (Hoy et al., 2002). However, 
shade from companion crops can also reduce 
alfalfa establishment and yield (Lanini et al, 
1991), especially in southern latitudes where 
alfalfa is seeded in the fall. Hall et al. (1995) 
reported pre- and postemergence herbicides 
provided better weed control and higher forage 
yields than a companion crop; thus herbicides 
are generally replacing companion crops for 
weed suppression for monocultures (Brothers et 
al., 1994), except on organic plantings. 

Chemical Weed Control 

Most research on weed control in pastures has 
been with fully established pastures (NRCS 
Conservation Practice Standard, Herbaceous 
Weed Control, Code 315), which are not 
discussed in this section. Most references 
citing effects of chemical weed control during 
establishment are on monocultures, mainly for 
spring seedings of alfalfa and some perennial 
warm-season grasses. Cool-season grasses are 
usually seeded in fall and few herbicides are 
registered for use on grass-legume mixtures. 
Therefore, this literature synthesis and 
discussion of weed control options draws on 
the research implicit for the chemical labels in 
addition to refereed journal articles. Data from 
industry for registration is thoroughly reviewed 
for authenticity and should be reliable. As a 
caution, however, full herbicide labels change 
and the current label is the only reliable or legal 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



reference for use at a specific location or on a 
specific crop. 

The point at which grassland is legally 
considered established for the purpose of 
herbicides use for pastures is usually defined 
in the label by the number of leaves. For 
labeling purposes, a grass seedling is usually 
established when it reaches the five-leaf stage. 
The 2,4-D amine and esters (Agri Star 2,4-D 
amine 4", Anonymous, 2008c; Agri Star 2,4-D 
LV4 4", Anonymous 2008d; Agri Star 2,4-D 
LV6", Anonymous, 2008e) labels state they 
can be used on newly seeded grasses after the 
five-leaf stage. Likewise, the triasulfuron label 
(Amber*; Anonymous, 2006a) states that it 
can be used on newly established pastures for 
broadleaf weed control 60 d after emergence, 
which is approximately when perennial grass 
seedlings reach the five-leaf stage. Ries and 
Svejcar (1991) also reported that seedlings are 
considered established when seedlings form 
adventitious roots, which occurred between the 
four- and six-leaf stage in their study. 

Frequently, weed control experiments report 
on formulations that are no longer registered 
(McMurphy 1969; Fermanian et al, 1980; 
Bovey and Voigt, 1983; Bovey et al., 1986; 
Bovey and Hussey, 1991) or formulations that 
do not have approval for use on seedings to be 
grazed (e.g., atrazine, bromoxynil, metribuzin, 
siduron, quinclorac, MSMA) (McMurphy, 
1969; Peters and Lowance, 1970; Fermanian 
et al., 1980; Bovey and Voigt, 1983; Bovey 
et al., 1986; Bovey and Hussey, 1991). Other 
formulations are not labeled for the reported 
crop (e.g., imazethapyr, metolachlor; Griffin et 
al., 1988; Masters, 1997; Beran et al., 2000). 
In this review, care was taken to not include 
these experiments except for the effect of weed 
reduction at a certain growth stage on the 
establishment success. 

Labels are often specific not only for the crop 
being treated, but for the management used, 
the weed problems, and the location, region, or 
state of the USA where it can be used. Aatrex* 
(atrazine; Anonymous, 2008a) is labeled only 
for CRP plantings and it is not approved for 
grazing, except for grazing sorghum-sudan 
grass hybrids. Quinclorac (Paramount", 
Anonymous, 2008e) is labeled for grass 
seed production, but it is not approved for 



grazing. Metolachlor (Dual II Magnum", 
Anonymous, 2004a) has a 30-d grazing 
restriction in soybeans and a 120-d grazing 
restriction for pod crops such as peas and 
cowpeas. Imazethapyr (Pursuit", Anonymous, 
2008f or Thunder", Anonymous, 2007b) is 
labeled for a number of forage legumes when 
used only as cover crops (i.e., alfalfa, birdsfoot 
trefoil, crownvetch, kudzu, lespedeza, lupin, 
milkvetch, sainfoin, velvet bean, and vetch), 
and has a 30-d grazing restriction for alfalfa 
and clovers. Bromoxynil (Buctril", Anonymous, 
2000a) has a 30-d grazing restriction for alfalfa, 
but is not labeled for other perennial legumes. 
In all cases, the current label is the only reliable 
guide. 

A strategy for weed management during 
establishment must consider herbicide residues, 
primarily from the previous crop, especially 
when legumes follow grass crops and vice 
versa. Herbicide labels must be read carefully 
and planting restrictions must be followed. 
Soil tillage has commonly been used to reduce 
injury due to residual herbicide from a previous 
crop (Hall and Vough, 2007). There is also 
some potential for a negative environmental 
impact resulting from herbicide use. Excessive 
atrazine use and potential carryover can restrict 
the species options on treated land; however, 
any effect is likely to dissipate within 2 yr. 




-W 











A cultivated seed bed before 
and after passage of a 
cultipacker-type seed drill. The 
front roller makes a shallow 
channel in which seed drops 
from a seed box; the back roller 
presses the seed into the soil 
and gives some soil coverage. 
Credit: David Barker, Ohio 
State University. 













r '.. V 




CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



Other herbicides with potential mammalian 
toxicity (e.g., paraquat) have not been reported 
to have pronounced effects on nontarget 
species; however, this herbicide is being used 
less frequently than in previous years (Barker 
and Zhang, 1988). Some notorious negative 
effects of long-term use of agrichemicals on the 
environment have resulted in more carefully 
regulated use of these valuable tools. 

Hybrid Bermudagrass 

The most effective herbicide to control small- 
seeded grasses and broadleaf weeds during 
bermudagrass establishment from sprigs 
is diuron (Direx®, Anonymous, 2003a), 
which can be applied immediately after 
sprigging, but before the new growth emerges. 
In addition, 2,4-D amine plus dicamba 
(Weedmaster 8 , Anonymous, 2008h), 2,4- 
D amine (Anonymous, 2008c), 2,4-D LV6 
(Anonymous, 2008e), and 2,4-D acid plus 
dicamba acid (Outlaw*, Anonymous, 2003b) 
can be applied any time after sprigging to 
control small-seeded grasses such as crabgrass, 
if applied when crabgrass is germinating 
(within 10 d of planting), or to control 
emerged broadleaf weeds (Butler et al., 
2006a, 2006b). Alternatively, 2,4-D amine 



plus picloram (Grazon P+D"; Anonymous, 
2009a) can be used on hybrid bermudagrass 
established by sprigging after stolons reach 1 5 
cm. 

Seeded Native Warm-Season Perennial 
Grasses 

For big bluestem, imazapic (Impose'", 
Anonymous, 2007a; Beran et al., 2000) can 
be applied prior to planting or after seedlings 
reach the five-leaf stage to control many 
annual grasses such as crabgrass, broadleaf 
signalgrass, fall panicum, Texas panicum, 
sandbur, yellow nutsedge, and seedling 
johnsongrass, which can be problematic 
weeds during establishment. Imazapic does 
not have a grazing restriction, but treated 
areas should not be cut for hay for at least 
7 d after application. Big bluestem was 
successfully established with imazethapyr 
(Beran et al., 2000) and atrazine can be 
used on CRP plantings of big bluestem to 
improve establishment (Martin et al., 1982; 
Masters, 1995; Anonymous, 2008a). Hintz et 
al. (1998) reported that big bluestem could 
be successfully established with atrazine and 
corn as a companion crop, since it is labeled 
for corn. Areas treated with atrazine have 



Alfalfa seedlings 4 mo after 
spring seeding in Ohio using a 
cultipacker-type seed drill seen 
in previous photo. Credit: David 
Barker, Ohio State University 




Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



a grazing restriction; however, this is not a 
major factor because new plantings of big 
bluestem should not be grazed during the 
establishment year. 

Big bluestem has been reported to be tolerant 
to metolachlor (Griffin et al., 1988; Masters, 
1997); however, it is not labeled for use in 
pastures. Metolachlor has a 30-d grazing 
restriction on soybean and a 120-d grazing 
restriction for pod crops such as peas and 
beans. Therefore, if big bluestem could be 
established with a companion crop, then the 
forage restriction of the primary crop (legume) 
could be followed to allow establishment 
of the companion crop. In noncrop areas, 
sulfosulfuron (Outrider*; Anonymous, 2004b) 
controls johnsongrass, yellow nutsedge, purple 
nutsedge, and tall fescue when applied to 
newly seeded big bluestem after the three- 
leaf stage; however, treated areas may not be 
grazed because sulfosulfuron is approved for 
grazing only in bermudagrass and bahiagrass 
pastures (Outrider* supplemental label; 
Anonymous, 2008b). In noncrop areas 
or where big bluestem is grown for seed 
production only, quinclorac plus methylated 
seed oil may be applied to control several 
annual grasses if the treated areas are not to be 
grazed. 

For indiangrass, imazapic (Impose*; 
Anonymous, 2007a) can be applied prior to 
planting or after seedlings reach the five-leaf 
stage to control many annual grasses such as 
crabgrass, broadleaf signalgrass, fall panicum, 
Texas panicum, sandbur, yellow nutsedge, 
and seedling johnsongrass. On established 
plantings, imazapic does not have a grazing 
restriction, but treated areas should not be 
cut for hay for at least 7 d after application. 
In noncrop areas, sulfosulfuron (Outrider*; 
Anonymous, 2004b) controls johnsongrass, 
yellow nutsedge, purple nutsedge, and 
tall fescue when applied to newly seeded 
indiangrass after the three-leaf stage. However, 
treated areas may not be grazed during that 
season since sulfosulfuron is approved only 
for grazing in bermudagrass and bahiagrass 
pastures (Outrider* supplemental label; 
Anonymous, 2008d). 

Switchgrass is categorized into upland and 
lowland ecotypes, which vary in their response 



to herbicides and management. McMurphy 
(1969) reported that 1.6 kg siduron ha" 1 
controlled crabgrass with no effect on 'Caddo' 
upland switchgrass. However, Bovey and 
Hussey (1991) reported excessive injury to 
Alamo' lowland switchgrass at 2.2 kg siduron 
ha" 1 . 'Pathfinder' upland switchgrass tolerated 
pre-emergent applications of atrazine, which 
greatly improved establishment (Martin et al., 
1982; Vogel, 1987; Masters et al., 1996; Hintz 
et al., 1998). McKenna et al. (1991) reported 
that 'Pathfinder' upland switchgrass injury 
increased as the rate of atrazine increased 
from 1.1 to 2.2 kg ha" 1 . Atrazine suppressed 
the growth of 'Pathfinder' upland switchgrass 
and injury was greater on a sandy loam soil 
compared to a silty clay loam soil (Bahler 
et al., 1984). Upland switchgrass could be 
established with atrazine with corn used as a 
companion crop, because it is labeled for corn 
(Hintz etal., 1998). 

Atrazine at 1.1 kg ha" 1 can cause excessive 
injury to lowland Alamo' switchgrass and 
should not be used (Bovey and Hussey, 1991), 
whereas upland 'Cave in Rock switchgrass 
tolerated this rate. Rainfall immediately 
after planting may reduce atrazine activity 
on lowland switchgrass. In one year, rainfall 
occurred the day after treating with atrazine 
and the lowland switchgrass was killed. In the 
second year rainfall did not occur for 2 wk after 
treatment and the lowland switchgrass had 
only transient injury (T. J. Butler, unpublished 
data) . Imazethapyr was a viable replacement 
option for atrazine when big bluestem was 
being established, but not for 'Trailblazer' 
upland switchgrass, because results were not 
consistent across locations (Masters et al, 
1996). 

In noncrop areas, sulfosulfuron (Outrider*; 
Anonymous, 2004b) controls johnsongrass, 
yellow nutsedge, purple nutsedge, and 
tall fescue when applied to newly seeded 
switchgrass after the three-leaf stage; however, 
treated areas may not be grazed, because 
sulfosulfuron is approved for grazing of 
only bermudagrass and bahiagrass pastures 
(Outrider* supplemental label; Anonymous, 
2008d). In noncrop areas or switchgrass 
grown for seed production only, quinclorac 
(Paramount*, Anonymous, 2008e) plus 
methylated seed oil may be applied to control 



u 



Switchgrass is 

categorized 

into upland and 

lowland ecotypes, 

which vary in 

their response to 

herbicides and 

management. 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



u 



There are several 
herbicide options 
for establishing 
alfalfa" 



seedlings of several annual grasses, if the treated 
areas are not to be grazed. 

The quinclorac label will likely be expanded 
to include switchgrass grown for biofuel. 
Already, nicosulfuron has received a 24(c) 
special local need label in Tennessee to control 
certain annual grasses and johnsongrass 
after the switchgrass has reached two-leaf 
stage (Accent*, Anonymous, 2008b). Other 
states will likely be added to the 24(c) label 
if switchgrass is grown for biofuel and the 
treated areas are not grazed. 

Griffin et al. (1988) reported that NA 
(1,8-napthalic anhydride) improved resistance 
of switchgrass seedlings to metolachlor; 
however, there has been relatively little research 
evaluating seed safeners to improve forage 
establishment (Roder et al., 1987). Based on 
the literature, most herbicide recommendations 
for establishing switchgrass are unreliable, 
especially for lowland ecotypes. 

Introduced Warm-Season Grasses 

Weed control greatly increased the success 
of establishment in seeded bermudagrass 
(Fermanian et al., 1980), weeping lovegrass 
(Bovey and Voigt, 1983), and buffelgrass, 
kleingrass, Wilman lovegrass, WW Ironmaster, 
and WW Spar Old World Bluestem (Bovey et 
al., 1986; Bovey and Hussey, 1991). But none 
of the herbicides evaluated has been registered 
or approved for grazing, so these studies are not 
discussed. 

Cool-Season Perennial Grasses 

Only a few studies of herbicide use during 
establishment of cool -season perennial grasses 
are reported in the literature. Most herbicides 
used for establishing small grains or warm- 
season perennial grasses listed above are 
detrimental to establishment of cool-season 
grasses (T. J. Butler, unpublished data). 
In the Southern Great Plains, successful 
establishment of tall fescue, tall wheatgrass, 
and experimental hardinggrass across 
multiple environments could be achieved by 
sequentially 1) spraying glyphosate in the 
spring to eliminate seed production from 
winter annual grasses prior to the autumn 
planting, b) delaying seeding (with a drill) 
until autumn rainfall and emergence of 
winter annual grasses has occurred, and 



c) following immediately with another 
application of glyphosate to control emerged 
weeds (Butler et al., 2008). This method is 
also recommended for the Pacific Northwest, 
but production from the fields is lost for the 
preceding summer (Thompson, 1970). 

Legumes 

Alfalfa. There are several herbicide options 
for establishing alfalfa (Mueller-Warrant 
and Koch, 1983) some of which may also 
be used on other legumes (listed in Table 
2.10). Although herbicides can give good 
weed control, the response might not always 
increase yield or be economic (Hall et al., 
1995). Treflan is generally the preferred choice 
among pre-emergent herbicides, because the 
cost is significantly lower than alternatives 
(Anonymous 2008g). Benefin, EPTC, and 
trifluralin may be incorporated prior to 
planting to control grass weeds primarily. 

Pendamethalin may be applied to the soil after 
alfalfa reaches the two-leaf stage; however, 
it must be activated by rain or irrigation to 
control weeds as they germinate and it does 
not have any postemergent activity. The 
herbicide 2,4-DB may be applied to very small 
broadleaf weeds that are actively growing once 
alfalfa reaches the two-leaf stage. Bromoxynil 
will control several broadleaf weeds after 
alfalfa reaches the four-leaf stage, but like 2,4- 
DB, bromoxynil will not control grassy weeds. 
Imazethapyr may be applied to alfalfa after it 
reaches the two-leaf stage to control both grass 
and broadleaf weeds that are very small, and it 
also provides residual weed control. Imazamox 
can be applied after alfalfa reaches the two- 
leaf stage to control certain broadleaf and 
primarily grassy weeds. It tends to have more 
grass activity than imazethapyr, but it has less 
residual activity. Clethodim and sethoxydim 
will control grassy weeds, but not broadleaf 
weeds. Recommended tank mixes for the 
simultaneous application of two herbicides 
(e.g., to control both grasses and broadleaf 
weeds) are specified in the full versions of 
herbicide labels. 

Roundup Ready* Alfalfa. Following its initial 
release in 2005, Roundup Ready* (i.e., 
glyphosate-tolerant) alfalfa was removed 
from commercial sale during 2007—2010 
for additional environmental testing. It was 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



TABLE 2.10. Herbicides labeled for alfalfa along with conventional use rates, applications timings, grazing or harvest restrictions, and other 
forage legumes listed on the label. 



Active ingredient 


Rate 
ha 1 


Timing 


Harvest restriction 
d 


Other legumes' 


Preplant, incorporated 


Benefin 


2.24 kg 


Preplant, incorporated 


- 


C, BT 


EPTC 


7.0 L 


Preplant, incorporated 


14 


C, BT, L 


Trifluralin 


1 .17 L 


Preplant, incorporated 


21 




Seedling stage 




Bromoxynil 


1.8 L 


> Four leaf 


30 




2,4-DB 


4.68 L 


Two-four leaf 


60 


RC, WC, BT 


Pronamide 


1 .68 kg 


> One leaf 


25 


C, CV, S 


Imazethapyr 


0.2-0.4 L 


> Two leaf 


30 


C, FP, 


Sethox/dim 


2.3 L (annuals) 4.3 L (perennials) 


Early postseeding 


14 


C, BT, S 


Pendimethalin 


2.3 L 


> Two-leaf alfalfa, prior to weeds 


50 




Imazamox 


0.3 L 


> Two leaf 


20 


FRCP 


Ciethodim 


0.6 L (annuals) 
1 .2 L (perennials) 


Early postseeding 


15 


C, BT, S 


Established stands (in addition to seedling stage) 


Flumioxazin 


0.3 L 


< 15 cm alfalfa, prior to weeds 


25 


Paraquat 


0.9 L 


Postseeding 


30 




Pendamethalin 


4.7 L 


< 1 5 cm alfalfa, prior to weeds 


50 




Norflurazon 


0.5-2.8 L 


> 5 mo alfalfa, prior to weeds 


28 




Trifluralin 


2.3-4.6 L 


Prior to weeds 


21 




Dormant 


Paraquat 


1.8L 


> 1 yr, dormant 


60 




Diuron 


2.8 L 


> 1 yr, dormant 


70 


BT, RC, FP 


Pronamide 


2.2 kg 


Dormant (< 1 2°C) 


25 




Terbacil 


1.7 kg 


Dormant 






Metribuzin 


2.3 L 


> 1 yr, dormant 


28 


S 


Hexazinone 


4.7 L 


> 1 yr, dormant 


30 



'BT, birdsfoot trefoil; C, clovers not specified; CP, cowpea; CV, crownvetch; FP, field pea; L, lespedeza; RC, red clover; S, sainfoin; WC, white clover. 



released from USDA regulation and became 
available commercially in January 201 1. 
Glyphosate (Anonymous, 2005a) may be 
applied at 0.84-1.68 kg ae ha 1 (22-44 fl oz 
ac _I ) from the time of emergence until 5 d 
prior to first cutting to control many broadleaf 
and grass weeds, especially perennial weeds 
that most conventional herbicides do not 
control. No yield reduction of alfalfa occurred 
when glyphosate was applied up to 3.36 
kg ae ha~\ which is four times the normal 
rate (Steckel et al., 2007). No differences 
in establishment or yield were found 



between Roundup Ready* alfalfa treated 
with glyphosate and a conventional alfalfa 
treated with imazamox (Sheaffer et al., 2007). 
However, Roundup Ready* systems with 
glyphosate provided more consistent weed 
control and less injury to the alfalfa compared 
with the conventional system with imazamox 
(McCordick et al., 2008). In addition, the 
conventional herbicides imazamox and 
imazethapyr caused minor alfalfa injury and 
2,4-DB and bromoxynil further decreased 
crop safety compared to glyphosate (Wilson 
and Burgener, 2009). 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



TABLE 2.11. Summary of purposes, criteria used for evaluation, and level of research support of NRCS Conservation Practice Standard, 
Forage and Biomass Planting, Code 512. 



Purposes of the Practice 
Standard 


Criteria used for assessing achievement of 
purpose 


Support by research based on 363 scientific publications 
and 1 62 species 


Improve or maintain 
livestock nutrition and 
health 


■ By establishing species and cultivars with 
greater production, and potential to increase 
animal intake 


• Species and cultivars differ in production and quality. 
But increased livestock production was assumed more 
likely from increased stocking rate than intake per head. 


■ By establishing species and cultivars with 
greater nutritive value (i.e., energy content, 
protein or mineral concentration) 


■ A negative relationship often occurs between production 
and nutritive value. Less productive species and cultivars 
(above) can have higher nutritive value. 


■ By replacing species with low nutritive value or 
with high levels of toxic compounds 


■ Whether through complete stand replacement (e.g., full 
cultivation) or partial stand replacement (e.g., sod- or no- 
till seeding), species with greater nutritive value can be 
introduced into grasslands. 




■ By establishing species and cultivars to provide 
nutrition during periods of feed deficit (e.g., 
extend forage production season) 


■ Species and cultivars that are tolerant to cold can 
improve early-spring and late-autumn production, and 
those tolerant to heat and drought can improve summer 
production. Major species are well characterized in the 
scientific literature. 




■ By establishing species with wildlife benefits 
such as nesting habitat, cover, biodiversity, and 
insects 


• Wildlife species vary in nutritional and habitat 
requirements that are not met by any single forage 
species. Species-rich vegetation offers more benefits to 
wildlife than monocultures. 

■ More productive species and cultivars can be harvested 
for hay or silage, or for use during periods of low forage 
production. 


Provide or increase 
forage supply during 
periods of low forage 
production 


■ By establishing species and cultivars with 
greater production potential 


• By establishing species with higher 
environmental tolerance (e.g., cold, heat, 
drought, pH, salinity) 


• Cold- and drought-tolerant species with greater forage 
production during feed-deficit periods can provide in situ 
grazing and reduce hay or silage feeding costs. 


■ By establishing annual forage crops to fill 
predicted feed deficits for harvest or grazing 


■ Annual forage species can be planted into existing 
grassland or as cover crops in grain systems, to provide 
forage for in situ grazing or for hay or silage harvest. 

■ Perennial grasslands have year-round soil cover 
with lower rates of soil loss than bare soil and can be 
managed for improved persistence. 


Reduce soil erosion 


■ By establishing perennial species that provide 
year-round ground cover, and by avoiding 
cultivation 


■ By establishing species with improved 
adaptation and greater persistence 


• Stand longevity of new alfalfa cultivars with multiple 
insect and disease resistance may be more than double 
that of older cultivars. 


■ By using no-till methods for establishment to 
alleviate soil cultivation 


• Sod- and no-till seeding, especially with herbicide 
use for vegetation control can successfully establish 
grasslands. 




■ By establishing plants with greater ground cover 
that reduces the rate of surface water flow 


• Plants with greater ground cover and denser vegetation 
have less runoff and higher water infiltration. Vegetation 
density is also affected by management. 



Other Legumes. Arrowleaf clover was 
relatively tolerant to 2,4-DB, which was 
effective in controlling many broadleaf 
weeds when they are small and actively 
growing (Conrad and Stritzke, 1980). 
Both 2,4-DB and bromoxynil were safe on 



Korean lespedeza, and 2,4-D amine only 
caused minor injury and provided better 
ragweed control (Peters and Lowance, 1970). 
Currently, 2,4-DB is labeled only for alfalfa 
and seedling birdsfoot trefoil; however, efforts 
are under way to include other legume species. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



TABLE 2.11. continued. 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



Purposes of the Practice 
Standard 


Criteria used for assessing achievement of 
purpose 


Support by research based on 363 scientific publications 
and 1 62 species 


Improve soil and water 
quality 


• By establishing species with vigorous root 
growth that ensures carbon sequestration and 
nutrient uptake 


■ In general, grasses have dense, fibrous root systems 
while legume root systems may include large taproots 
and crowns; rooting characteristics are affected by 
management as well as establishment practices. 


■ By establishing N-fixing legumes, thus reducing 
the need for fertilizer N 


■ Legumes are relatively fast to establish, can be included 
in grassland mixtures, or can be no-till drilled (sod- 
seeded) or broadcast seeded (frost-seeded) into grass 
stands 








■ By establishing species that ensure efficient 
nutrient cycling, and support active populations of 
soil macro- and micro-organisms 

• By reducing soil erosion 


■ Nutrient cycling and some soil microbial processes 
are impaired during establishment, but resume once the 
stand is established. Later on, nutrient cycling is affected 
significantly by forage removal as hay or silage. 

■ Where water quality is a critical issue, new seedings 
should use no-till methods or fast-establishing companion 
crops to avoid bare soil or reduce time of bare soil 
exposure. 


Produce feedstock 
for biofuel or energy 
production 


• By establishing species and cultivars with high 
biomass potential 


■ The most productive biofuel feedstocks (miscanthus 
and giant reed) can be established vegetatively with 
the use of stems and/or rhizomes. Switchgrass can be 
established from seed. 


■ By establishing species and cultivars with unique 
characteristics for biofuel or energy production 
(e.g., low ash, high cellulose) 


• Species differ in concentration and types of structural 
and nonstructural carbohydrates for biofuel purposes. 
Several forage species have high ash content and may 
be less suitable for biofuel purposes than others. 



Imazethapyr improves establishment of 
tickclover, roundhead lespedeza, and 
leadplant better than imazapic, whereas 
crownvetch, partridgepea, purple prairie 
clover (Beran et al., 1999) and Illinois 
bundleflower (Masters et al., 1996; Beran 
et al., 2000) tolerated both imazapic and 
imazethapyr. Imazethapyr caused transient 
injury only to birdsfoot trefoil, cicer 
milkvetch, red clover, sainfoin, and yellow 
sweetclover, and did not reduce legume yield 
(Wilson, 1994). Imazapic is approved for 
grazing, whereas imazethapyr is approved 
only for alfalfa, clover, and field peas. Most 
forage legumes are not listed in the specimen 
label and there are no chemical weed control 
options for these crops. Interestingly, if these 
forage legumes were mixed at planting with 
alfalfa as a companion crop, then all the 
labeled herbicides for alfalfa establishment 
could be used legally, as long as the grazing 
restrictions were followed for alfalfa as the 
primary crop. 



Conclusion— Weed Management 

The Code 512 General Criteria specify 
that invasion by undesirable plants shall 
be controlled by cutting, using a selective 
herbicide, or by grazing management by 
manipulating livestock type, stocking rates, 
density, and duration of stay. Insects and 
diseases shall be controlled when an infestation 
threatens stand survival. The literature 
strongly supports the statement that forage 
establishment is greatly improved when weeds 
are controlled. Generally, herbicides that 
selectively kill the undesirable herbaceous 
vegetation (even with minor crop injury) speed 
the rate and success of establishment compared 
to alternative methods, but may not be the 
most economic strategy. One area of deficiency 
in the literature is the quantified benefit of 
herbicide use for other conservation values. 
Implicitly, the faster a stand can be established 
to shorten the duration to utilization and 
lesson the risks of low ground cover, the greater 
its conservation value will be. 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 




A seasonal, grazing dairy herd 
on endophyte-free tall fescue 
pasture in Ohio. Credit: David 
Barker, Ohio State University. 



CONCLUSIONS AND EMERGING 
ISSUES 

Code 512 specifies practices for planting 
grasslands intended to 1) sustain livestock 
nutrition and health, 2) provide forage during 
periods of low supply, 3) reduce soil erosion, 
4) improve soil and water quality, and 5) 
produce feedstock for bioindustrial purposes. 
The objective of this chapter was to evaluate 
the research to determine if it supports 
the purposes and criteria of the practices 
described in the Standard. We summarized 
363 publications related to grassland 
establishment, and found a high degree of 
consensus between the recommended practices 
in the standard and the research literature 
(Table 2.1 1). Most of the basic principles are 
known, and local experts can fine-tune the 
recommendations to increase the chances for 
establishment success. 



quality, and to a lesser extent, the seasonality of 
production. Some forage literature addressed 
other ecosystem services (e.g., erosion, wildlife, 
water quality, carbon sequestration, and 
biofuels); however, this research was mainly 
conducted in mature pastures and hayfields, 
i.e., on the desired result, and rarely considered 
the establishment period. 

In general, establishment practices are similar 
for all purposes for which a stand might be 
used. In cases where erosion and water quality 
are of special concern, establishment practices 
that avoid full cultivation are most likely 
justified, but there were no studies directed at 
this relationship. Further, it is not known if 
establishment practices differ in their effect on 
carbon sequestration; however, species selection 
and their postestablishment management can 
greatly influence the net carbon balance of a 
grassland system. This was very evident in the 
number of species evaluated in that several 
'minor' species may be the best for delivery of 
priority environmental of ecosystem services 
with adequate, but not optimum production 
value (Table 2. 11). 

Researchers have a daunting task to describe 
interactions for all grassland species (162 
in this chapter), in all topographies, for all 
climate zones within the USA, and for all 
the purposes for which these species can be 
used. To this extent, grassland establishment 
cannot be completely supported in all respects 
by research, and practitioners will be forced 
to extrapolate establishment guidelines to 
individual fields, producers, and purposes. In 
this respect, Code 512 is valid to recommend 
input from local plant materials programs, 
land grant and research institutions, extension 
agencies, or agency field trials. Even so, there is 
a need for modeling approaches to allow more 
effective transfer of technology and cost-benefit 
relationships to assist in decision making on 
species and establishment practices at the local 
level. 



The literature was deficient in some areas of 
research. In general, past research has focused 
primarily on grass and legume establishment in 
support of livestock production, and primarily 
on a limited number of popular species. 
Specific emphasis has included total forage 
production (for grazing, hay, or silage), forage 



The scientific literature includes relatively 
little information on establishment failures, 
yet it is common knowledge that several 
systems tried did not work and were not 
published. One publication (Bartholomew, 
2005) estimated that 7-55% of the cases 
resulted in failures of forage reseedings, and 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



recommends this cost be included in economic 
analyses. We have incomplete information 
on factors contributing to establishment 
failure, something that likely varies from 
location to location because of soil and 
climate, with amount of management input. 
If unsuccessful approaches were studied the 
scientists could learn and perhaps use the 
information to alter practices to overcome the 
problems, but without some basic information 
everyone begins with no information. This 
is especially critical because the variety of 
purposes emerging will demand data and 
recommendations on a greater variety of 
species than currently used for production. 

Several emerging issues are likely to affect 
future forage establishment practices: 

1. Roundup Ready technology has been 
introduced to alfalfa, but the effect this 
technology might have on establishment 
practices is yet unknown. Emerging 
technologies take time to conduct the 
research to be published, and then the 
publication process may take an additional 
year or more. 

2. The organic forage-based livestock 
industry has been growing at a steady 
rate in the USA (approx. 18% yr 1 )- The 
restriction on the use of agrichemicals 
and genetically modified plant species 
within these systems intensify the need 
for research on successful establishment 
practices for pastures and hayfields. Many 
organic plantings were established with 
conventional methods and transitioned 
into organic production, but new forage 
seedings will require establishment using 
organic principles including the use of seed 
grown organically. 

3. New technologies (e.g., polymer seed 
coats, new rhizobium strains) are being 
developed that will improve seed longevity 
in storage, and improve establishment 
success. 

4. New cultivars are continually being 
developed in most species used for 
production with faster and more uniform 
emergence characteristics. 

5. Seed quality is being recognized as an 
important factor, and more specialized 
methods for production and storage are 
being developed. 



6. New equipment for seeding to assure good 
soil-seed contact and improved pesticides 
will continue to be evaluated. 

7. Hayfields and pastures will continue to 
occupy the most erosive land sites and 
global change and ecosystem expectations 
and regulations will gain emphasis. 

8. More emphasis is needed on establishing 
principles of potential biofuel crops and 
those species that will improve grasslands 
for environmental and ecosystem services. 

9. There is a strong need for modeling 
research to strengthen the interrelationships 
among principles to allow decision makers 
to evaluate species and establishment 
methods to most effectively meet the 
broader goals of the landowner. 

10. There will be a greater need for monitoring 
to insure the practice implemented is 
working and will be successful. This 

will need to be linked with landowner 
education and enhanced ability to have 
adaptive management to steer the practice 
to success. 

Literature Cited 

Aberle, E.Z., L.R. Gibson, A.D. Knapp, P.M. 
Dixon, K.J. Moore, E.C. Brummer, and R. 
Hintz. 2003. Optimum planting procedures 
for eastern gamagrass. Agron. J. 95:1054— 
1062. 

Acharya, S.N., J. P. Kastelic, K.A. Beauchemin, 
and D.R Messenger 2006. A review of 
research progress on cicer milkvetch (Astragalus 
cicerL.). Can. J. Plant Sci. 86:49-62. 

Aiken, G.E.,andT.L. Springer. 1995. Seed size 
distribution, germination, and emergence of 6 
switchgrass cultivars./. Range Manage. 48:455- 
458. 

Albrecht, W.A., AND E.M. Poirot. 1930. 
Fractional neutralization of soil acidity for 
the establishment of clover. /. Am. Soc. Agron. 
22:649-657. 

Alexander, C.W., and D.S. Chamblee. 1965. 
Effect of sunlight and drying on the inoculation 
of legumes with Rhizobium species. Agron. J. 
57:550-553. 

Allen, C.L., and M.H. Entz. 1994. Zero-tillage 
establishment of alfalfa and meadow bromegrass 
as influenced by previous annual grain crop. 
Can. J. Plant Sci. 74:521-529. 

Alward, R.D., J.K. Detling, and D.G. Milchunas. 
1999. Grassland vegetation changes and nocturnal 
global warming. Science 283:229-231. 



u 



Several emerging 

issues are 

likely to affect 

future forage 

establishment 

practices 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



Anderson, W.F., R.N. Gates, W.W. Hanna, 

A.R. Blount, P. Mislevy, and G. Evers. 2009. 

Recurrent restricted phenotypic selection for 

improving stand establishment of bahiagrass. 

CropSci. 49:1322-1327. 
Andrews, W.B. 1940. The effect of the vetch 

cropping history and chemical properties of the 

soil on the longevity of vetch nodule bacteria, 

Rhizobium leguminosarum. J. Am. Soc. Agron. 

32:42-47. 
Anonymous. 2000a. BuctriP specimen label. 

Registration No. 264-540. Bayer Crop Science, 

Research Triangle Park, NC. 
Anonymous. 2003a. Direx" specimen label. 

Registration No. 1812-257. Griffin LLC, 

Valdosta, GA. 
Anonymous. 2003b. Outlaw* specimen label. 

Registration No. 42750-68. Albaugh, Inc., 

Ankeny, IA. 
Anonymous. 2004a. Dual II Magnum. 

Registration No. 100-818. Syngenta Crop 

Protection, Greensboro, NC. 
Anonymous. 2004b. Outrider" specimen label. 

Registration No. 524-500. Monsanto, St. Louis, MO. 
Anonymous. 2005a. Roundup" WeatherMax 

supplemental label. Registration No. 524-537. 

Monsanto, St. Louis, MO. 
Anonymous. 2006a. Amber". Registration 

No. 100-768. Syngenta Crop Protection, 

Greensboro, NC. 
Anonymous. 2007a. Impose" specimen label. 

Registration No. 66222-141. Makhteshim Agan, 

Raleigh, NC. 
Anonymous. 2007b. Thunder" specimen label. 

Registration No. 42750-146. Albaugh, Inc., 

Ankeny, IA. 
Anonymous. 2008a. Aatrex" specimen label. 

Registration No. 100-497. Syngenta Crop 

Protection, Greensboro, NC. 
Anonymous 2008b. Accent" supplemental label. 

Registration No. 352-560. EI Dupont de 

Nemours and Co., Wilmington, DE. 
Anonymous. 2008c. Agri Star 2,4-D amine 4" 

specimen label. Registration No. 42750-19. 

Albaugh, Inc., Ankeny, IA. 
Anonymous. 2008d Agri Star 2,4-D LV4 4" 

specimen label. Registration No. 42750-15. 

Albaugh, Inc., Ankeny, IA. 
Anonymous. 2008e. Agri Star 2,4-D LV6® 

specimen label. Registration No. 42750-20. 

Albaugh, Inc., Ankeny, IA. 
Anonymous. 2008d. Outrider" supplemental label. 

Registration No. 524-500. Monsanto, St. Louis, 

MO. 



Anonymous. 2008e. Paramount" specimen label. 
Registration No. 7969-113. BASF Corp., 
Research Triangle Park, NC. 

Anonymous. 2008f Pursuit" specimen label. 
Registration No. 241-310. BASF Corp., 
Research Triangle Park, NC. 

Anonymous. 2008g. Treflan HFP* specimen label. 
Registration No. 62719-250. Dow AgroSciences, 
Indianapolis, IN. 

Anonymous. 2008h. Weedmaster" specimen 
label. Registration No. 71368-34. Nufarm, Burr 
Ridge, IL. 

Anonymous. 2009a. Grazon" P+D specimen label. 
Registration No. 62719-182. Dow AgroSciences, 
Indianapolis, IN. 

Arakeri, H.R., and A.R. Schmid. 1949. Cold 
resistance of various legumes and grasses in early 
stages of growth. Agron. J. 41:1 82-185. 

Artola, A., G.G. de los Santos, and G. 

Carrillo-Castaneda. 2003a. Hydropriming: 
A strategy to increase Lotus corniculatus L. seed 
vigor. Seed Sci. Technol. 31:455-463. 

Artola, A., G.G. de los Santos, and G. 

Carrillo-Castaneda. 2003b. A seed vigour test 
for birdsfoot trefoil {Lotus corniculatus L.). Seed 
Sci. Technol. 31:753-757. 

Awan, M.H., D.J. Barker, and P.D. Kemp, 
and MA. Choudary. 1995. Soil surface 
moisture measurement and its influence on the 
establishment of three oversown legume species. 
J.Agric. Sci. 127:169-174. 

Baalbaki, R., S. Elias, J. Marcos-Filho, and 
M.B. McDonald (ed.) 1983. Seed vigor testing 
handbook. Association of Official Seed Analysts, 
Springfield, IL. 

Bahler, C.C., K.R Vogel, and L.E. Moser 
1984. Atrazine tolerance in warm-season grass 
seedlings. Agron. J. 76:891-895. 

Barker, D.J., D.E Chapman, C.B. Anderson, 
and N. Dymock. 1988. Oversowing 'Grasslands 
Wana' cocksfoot, 'Grasslands Maru' phalaris, and 
'Grasslands Tahora' white clover in hill country 
at varying rates of paraquat and glyphosate. A^. 
Z.J. Agric. Res. 31:373-382. 

Barker, D.J., and N. Dymock. 1993. Effects of 
pre-sowing herbicide and subsequent sward mass 
on survival, development, and production of 
autumn oversown Wana cocksfoot and Tahora 
white clover seedlings. N. Z. J. Agric. Res. 
36:67-77. 

Barker, D.J., D.R. Stevens, J.A. Lancashire, 
D. Scott, S.C. Moloney, J.D. Turner, 
N. Dymock, and W.J. Archie. 1993. 
Introduction, production and persistence 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



of five grass species in dry hill country 8. 
Summary and conclusions. N. Z. J. Agric. Res. 
36:61-66. 

Barker, D.J., and D. M. Zhang. 1988. The 
effects of paraquat spraying, seed placement, and 
pre-germination on the appearance and survival 
of white clover, cocksfoot, and ryegrass seedlings 
from spring oversowing in hill country. N. Z. J. 
Exp. Agric. 16:1-9. 

Barker, G. M., P. J. Addison, L. N. Robertson, 
and B. E. Willoughby. 1990. Interactions of 
seeding rate with pesticide treatments in pasture 
renovation by direct drilling. N. Z. J. Agric. Res. 
33:595-605. 

BARRATT, B. I. P., W. L. LOWTHER, AND C. M. 

Ferguson. 1995. Seed coating with insecticide 
to improve oversown white clover ( Trifolium 
repens L.) establishment in tussock grassland. N. 
Z. J. Agric. Res. 38:511-518. 

Bartholomew, P. W. 2005. Comparison of 
conventional and minimal tillage for low- 
input pasture improvement. Forage Grazingl. 
doi:10.1094/FG-2005-0913-01-RV. 

Beauregard, M.S., P. Seguin, C.C. Sheaffer, 
and PH. Graham. 2003. Characterization 
and evaluation of North American Trifolium 
ambiguum—nodulztmg rhizobia. Biol. Fertil. Soils 
38:311-318. 

Becker, R.L., C.C. Sheaffer, D.W. Miller, 
and D.R. Swanson. 1998. Forage quality and 
economic implications of systems to manage 
giant foxtail and oat during alfalfa establishment. 
J. Prod. Agric. 11:300-308. 

Beckman, J.J., L.E. Moser, K. Kubik, and S.S. 
Waller. 1993. Big bluestem and switchgrass 
establishment as influenced by seed priming. 
Agron.J. 85:199-202 

Bell, L.W., G.A. Moore, M.A. Ewing, and S.J. 
Bennett. 2005. Establishment and summer 
survival of the perennial legumes, Dorycnium 
hirsutum and D. rectum in Mediterranean 
environments. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 45:1245— 
1254. 

Bender, D.A., R.D. Morse, J.L. Neal, and D.D. 
Wolf. 1988. Field evaluation of starter N and 
delayed inoculation of Lespedeza cuneata grown 
in mine soil. Plant Soil 109:109-1 13. 

Beran, D.D., RA. Masters, and R.E. Gaussoin. 
1999. Grassland legume establishment with 
imazethapyr and imazapic. Agron. J. 91 :592- 
596. 

Beran, D.D., RA. Masters, R.E. Gaussoin, 
and F. Rivas-Pantago. 2000. Establishment of 
big bluestem and bundle flower mixtures with 



imazapic and imazethapyr. Agron. J. ^l-AdQ— 
465. 

Berdahl, J.D., A.B. Frank, J.M. Krupinsky, P.M. 
Carr, J.D. Hanson, and H.A. Johnson. 2005. 
Biomass yield, phenology, and survival of diverse 
switchgrass cultivars and experimental strains in 
Western North Dakota. Agron. J. 97:549-555. 

Bertrand, A., D. Prevost, F.J. Bigras, R. 
Lalande, G.F. Tremblay, Y. Castonguay, and 
G. Belanger. 2007. Alfalfa response to elevated 
atmospheric C0 2 varies with the symbiotic 
rhizobial strain. Plant Soil 301:1 73-1 87. 

Beveridge, J.L., and C.P. Wilsie. 1959. Influence 
of depth of planting, seed size, and variety on 
emergence and seeding vigor in alfalfa. Agron. J. 
51:731-734. 

Bishnoi, U.R. 1980. Effect of seeding rates and 
row spacing on forage and grain production of 
triticale, wheat, and rye. Crop Sci. 20:107-108. 

Blackmore, L.W 1965. Chemical establishment 
and renovation of pastures in southern Hawkes 
Bay and northern Wairarapa in New Zealand. 
Proc. 9th Int. Grassl. Congr. 1:307-312. 

Blaser, B.C., L.R. Gibson, J.W Singer, and J. 
Jannick. 2006. Optimizing seeding rates for 
winter cereal grains and frost-seeded red clover 
intercrops. Agron. J. 98:1041-1049. 

Blaser, B.C., J.W. Singer, and L.R. Gibson. 
2007. Winter cereal, seeding rate, and intercrop 
seeding rate effect on red clover yield and 
quality. Agron. J. 99:723-729. 

Blaser, R.E., WH. Skrdla, and T.H. Taylor. 
1952. Ecological and physiological factors in 
compounding forage seed mixtures. Adv. Agron. 
4:179-219. 

Boe A., and D.K. Lee. 2007. Genetic variation 
for biomass production in prairie cordgrass and 
switchgrass. Crop Sci. 47:929-934. 

Bolinder, M.A., DA. Angers, G. Belanger, R 
Michaud, and M.R. Laverdiere. 2002. Root 
biomass and shoot to root ratios of perennial 
forage crops in eastern Canada. Can. J. Plant Sci. 
82:731-737. 

Bolinder, M.A., H.H. Janzen, E.G. Gregorich, 
DA. Angers, and A.J. VandenBygaart. 
2007. An approach for estimating net primary 
productivity and annual carbon inputs to soil 
for common agricultural crops in Canada. Agric. 
Ecosyst. Environ. 118:29-42. 

Boukerrou, L., and D. D. Rasmusson. 1990. 
Breeding for high biomass yield in spring barley. 
Crop Sci. 30:31-35. 

Bouton, J.H., and R.N. Gates. 2003. Grazing- 
tolerant alfalfa cultivars perform well under 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



rotational stocking and hay management. 

Agron.J. 95:1461-1464. 
Bovey, R.W., and M.A. Hussey. 1991. Response 

of selected grasses to herbicides. Agron. J. 

83:709-713. 
Bovey, R.W., R.E. Myer, M.G. Merkle, and 

E.C. Bashaw. 1986. Effect of herbicides and 

hand-weeding on establishment of kleingrass and 

buffelgrass. /. Range Manage. 39:547-551. 
Bovey, R.W., and P.W. Voigt. 1983. Tolerance of 

weeping lovegrass cultivars to herbicides. Crop 

Sci. 23:364-368 
Bowman, M.T., P.A. Beck, K.B. Watkins, M.M. 

Anders, M.S. Gadberry, K.S. Lusby, S.A. 

Gunter, and D.S. Hubbell. 2008. Tillage 

systems for production of small-grain pasture. 

Agron.J. 100:1289-1295. 
Brar, G.S., J.E Gomez, B.L. McMichael, 

A.G. Matches, and H.M. Taylor 1991. 

Germination of twenty forage legumes as 

influenced by temperature. Agron. J. 83: 173- 

175. 
Brockwell, J., and P.J. Bottomley. 1995. Recent 

advances in inoculants technology and prospects 

for the future. Soil Biol. Biochem. 21:683-697. 
Brothers, B.A., J.R. Schmidt, J.J. Kells, and 

O.B. Hesterman. 1994. Alfalfa establishment 

with and without spring applied herbicides. /. 

Prod.Agric. 7:494-501. 
Brown, B.A. 1959. Band versus broadcast 

fertilization of alfalfa. Agron. J. 51:708-710. 
Burton, G.W. 1940. Factors influencing the 

germination of seed Trifolium repens.J. Am. Soc. 

Agron. 32:731-738. 
Butler, T.J., A.M. Islam, and J.E Muir 2008. 

Establishment of cool-season perennial grasses in 

the southern Great Plains. Forage Grazinglands. 

doi:10.1094/FG-2008-0911-01-RS. 
Butler, T.J., J.R Muir, and J.T Ducar 2006a. 

Response of coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon 

dactylon) to various herbicides and weed control 

during establishment. WeedTechnol. 20:934- 

941. 
Butler, T.J., J. P. Muir, and J.T. Ducar 2006b. 

Weed control and response of various herbicides 

during Tifton 85 bermudagrass {Cynodon 

dactylon) establishment from rhizomes. Agron. J. 

98:788-794. 
Carleton, A.E., C.S. Cooper, and L.E. Wiesner 

1968. Effect of seed pod and temperature on 

speed of germination and seedling elongation of 

sainfoin (Onobrychis viciaefolia Scop.). Agron. J. 

60:81-84. 
Carr, P.M., W.W. Poland, and L.J. Tisor. 



2005. Forage legume regeneration from the soil 
seed bank in western North Dakota. Agron. J. 
97:505-513. 

Casler, M.D., D.C. West, and D.J. 
Undersander 1999. Establishment of 
temperate pasture species into alfalfa by frost- 
seeding. Agron. J. 91:91 6-92 1 . 

Cassida, K.A., J.E Muir, M.A. Hussey, J.C. 
Read, B.C. Venuto, and W.R. Ocumpaugh. 
2005. Biofuel component concentrations and 
yields of switchgrass in south central U.S. 
environments. Crop Sci. 45:682—692. 

Chapko, L.B., M.A. Brinkman, and K.A. 
Albrecht. 1991. Oat, oat-pea, barley, and 
barley-pea for forage yield, forage quality, and 
alfalfa establishment. /. Prod. Agric. 4:360-365. 

Cheng, Y., E.L.J. Watkin, G.W. O'Hara, and 
J.G. Howieson. 2002. Medicago sativa and 
Medicago murex differ in the nodulation response 
to soil acidity. Plant Soil 238:31-39. 

Cherney, J.H., and J. Hansen. 201 1. Forage 
crops guidelines. In W.J. Cox and L. Smith 
(ed.) Cornell guide for integrated field crop 
management. Available at http://ipmguidelines. 
org/fieldcrops/ (verified 1 Sept. 2011). Cornell 
University Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, NY. 

Chiles, R.E., W.W. Huffine, and J.Q. Lynd. 
1966. Differential response of Cynodon varieties 
to type of sprig storage and planting depth. 
Agron.J. 58:231-234. 

Clem, R.L., J.H. Wildin, and EH. Larsen. 1993. 
Tropical pasture establishment. 12. Pasture 
establishment practices and experiences in 
Central Queensland. Trap, Grassl. 27:373-380. 

Clifton-Brown, J.C, I. Lewandowski, B. 
Andersson, G. Basch, D.G. Christian, J. B. 

KjELDSEN, U. J0RGENSEN, J.V. MORTENSEN, 

A.B. Riche, K.U. Schwarz, K. Tayebi, and E 
Teixeira. 2001. Performance of 15 miscanthus 
genotypes at five sites in Europe. Agron. J. 
93:1013-1019. 

Coll, J.J., H.H. Schomberg, and R.W Weaver. 
1989. Effectiveness of rhizobial strains on 
arrowleaf clover grown in acidic soil containing 
manganese. Soil Biol. Biochem. 21:755—758. 

Collins, M., and J.O. Fritz. 2003. Forage 
quality, p. 363-390. In R.F Barnes et al. 
(ed.) Forages: An introduction to grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, Ames. 

Conrad, J. D., and J.E Stritzke. 1980. Response 
of arrowleaf clover to post-emergent herbicides. 
Agron. J. 72:670-672. 

Cooper, C.S., R.L. Ditterline, and L.E. Welty. 
1979. Seed size and seeding rate effects upon 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



stand density and yield of alfalfa. Agron. J. 
71:83-85. 

CORNAGLIA, P.S., G.E. SCHRAUF, AND V.A. 

Deregibus. 2009. Flooding and grazing 
promote germination and seedling establishment 
in the perennial grass Paspalum dilatatum. Aust. 
Ecol. 34:343-350 

Cosgrove, D.R., and M. Collins. 2003. Forage 
establishment, p. 239-261. In R.F Barnes et 
al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction to grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, Ames. 

Cox, J.R., and M.H. Martin. 1984. Effects of 
planting depth and soil texture on the emergence 
of four lovegrasses. /. Range Manage. 37:204- 
205. 

Cuomo, G.J., D.G. Johnson, and W.A. Head, 
Jr 2001. Interseeding kura clover and birdsfoot 
trefoil into existing cool-season grass pastures. 
Agron. J. 93:458-462. 

Cuomo, G.J., D.D. Redfearn, J.F. Beatty, R.A. 
Anders, F.B. Martin, and D.C. Blouin. 
1999. Management of warm-season annual grass 
residue on annual ryegrass establishment and 
production. Agron. J. 91:666-671. 

Dabney, S.M., L.D. Meyer, W.C. Harmon, C.V. 
Alonso, and G.R. Foster 1994. Deposition 
patterns of sediment trapped by grass barriers. 
No. 942185. Trans. ASAE. 

Decker, A.M., H.J. Retzer, M.L. Sarna, and 
H.D. Kerr. 1969. Permanent pastures improved 
with sod-seeding and fertilization. Agron. J. 
61:243-247. 

Decker, A.M., H.J. Retzer, and EG. Swain. 
1964. Improved soil openers for the 
establishment of small-seeded legumes in 
sod. Agron. J. 56:211-214. 

Decruyenaere, J.G., and J.S. Holt. 2001. 
Seasonality of clonal propagation in giant reed. 
Weed Set. 49:760-767. 

Decruyenaere, J.G., and J.S. Holt. 2005. Ramet 
demography of a clonal invader, Arundo donax 
(Poaceae), in Southern California. Plant Soil 
277:41-52. 

DeHaan, L.R., N.J. Ehlke, and C.C. Sheaffer. 
200 1 . Recurrent selection for seedling vigor in 
kura clover. Crop Sci. 41:1034-1041. 

Dhugga, K.S. 2007. Maize biomass yield and 
composition for biofuels. Crop Sci. 47:221 1— 
2227. 

Doll, E.C., A.L. Hatfield, and J.R. Todd. 1959. 
Vertical distribution of topdressed fertilizer 
phosphorus and potassium in relation to yield 
and composition of pasture herbage. Agron. J. 
51:645-648. 



Don, A., T. Scholten, and E.D. Schulze. 
2009. Conversion of cropland into grassland: 
Implications for soil organic-carbon stocks in 
two soils with different texture. /. Plant Nutr. 
Soil Sci. 172:53-62. 

Dougherty, C.T., and M. Collins. 2003. Forage 
utilization, p. 391-414. In R.F. Barnes et al. 
(ed.) Forages: An introduction to grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, Ames. 

Dovel, R.L., MA. Hussey, and E.C. Holt. 
1990. Establishment and survival of Illinois 
bundleflower interseeded into an established 
kleingrass pastures./. Range Manage. 43:153- 
156. 

DUPONT, Y.L., AND B. OVERGAARD NlELSEN. 

2006. Species composition, feeding specificity 
and larval trophic level of flower- visiting insects 
in fragmented versus continuous heathlands in 
Denmark. Biol. Conserv. 131:475-485. 

Easterling, D.R., B. Horton, P.D. Jones, 
T.C. Peterson, T.R. Karl, D.E. Parker, M.J. 
Salinger, V. Razuvayev, N. Plummer, P. 
Jamason, and C.K. Folland. 1977. Maximum 
and minimum temperature trends for the globe. 
Science 277:364-367. 

Erdman, L., and U.M. Means. 1956. Strains of 
rhizobia effective on Trifolium ambiguum. Agron. 
J. 48:341-343. 

Erickson, L.C. 1946. The effects of alfalfa seed 
size and depth of seeding upon the subsequent 
procurement of stand./. Am. Soc. Agron. 
38:964-973. 

Evert, S., S. Staggenborg, and B.L.S. Olson. 
2009. Soil temperature and planting depth 
effects on Tef emergence. /. Agron. Crop Sci. 
195:232-236. 

Exner, D.N.and R.M. Cruse. 1993. Interseeded 
forage legume potential as winter ground cover, 
nitrogen-source and competitor. /. Prod. Agric. 
6:226-231. 

Fennessey, P.E, and K.E. Milligan. 1987. 

Grazing management of red deer. p. 1 1 1—1 18. In 
A.M. Nicol (ed.) Livestock feeding on pasture. 
Occasional Publication No. 10, New Zealand. 
Society of Animal Production, Hamilton, New 
Zealand. 

Fermanian, T.W., W.W. Huffine, and R.D. 
Morrison. 1980. Pre-emergence weed control 
in seeded bermudagrass stands. Agron. J. 72:803- 
805. 

Frame, J., and A.G. Boyd. 1986. Effect of cultivar 
and seed rate of perennial ryegrass and strategic 
fertilizer nitrogen on the productivity of grass/ 
white clover swards. Grass Forage Sci. 41:359-366. 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



Frame, J., R.D. Harkess, and I.V. Hunt. 
1985. Effect of seed rate of red clover and of 
companion timothy or tall fescue on herbage 
production. Grass Forage Sci. 40:459-465. 

Frank, A.B., J.D. Berdahl, J.D. Hanson, M.A. 
Liebig, and H.A. Johnson. 2004. Biomass and 
carbon partitioning in switchgrass. Crop Sci. 
44:1391-1396. 

Fritschi, F.B., K.J. Boote, L.E. Sollenberger, 
L.H. Allen, and T.R. Sinclair. 1999. Carbon 
dioxide and temperature effects on forage 
establishment: photosynthesis and biomass 
production. Global Change Biol. 5:441-453. 

Gates, R.N., and J.J. Mullahey. 1997. Influence 
of seeding variables on 'Tifton 9' bahiagrass 
establishment. Agron. J. 89:134-139. 

Ghersa, CM., M.A. Martinez Ghersa, and 
R.L. Benech Arnold. 1997. Seed dormancy 
implications in grain and forage production. /. 
Prod.Agric. 10:111-117. 

Gibson, L.R., E.Z. Aberle, A.D. Knapp, K.J. 
Moore, and R. Hintz. 2005. Release of seed 
dormancy in field plantings of eastern gamagrass. 
Crop Sci. 45:494-502. 

Gibson, L.R., J.W. Singer, R.J. Vos, and B.C. 
Blaser 2008. Optimum stand density of spring 
triticale for grain yield and alfalfa establishment. 
Agron. J. 100:911-916. 

Gomm, F.B. 1964. A comparison of two 

sweetclover strains and Ladak alfalfa alone and 
in mixture with crested wheatgrass for range and 
dryland seeding. /. Range Manage. 17:19—23. 

Gong, Y.J., J.Q. Li, L.S. Jin, and Y.P. Gong. 
2003. History of seed health protection in 
ancient China. Sci. Agric. Sin. 36:448-457 . 

Greene, B.B., D.M. Lancaster, K.C. Pree, 
J.M. Turpin, and M.M. Eichorn. 1992. 
Propagation of hybrid bermudagrass from 
harvested culms. Agron. J. 84:31-33. 

Griffin, T.S., L.E. Moser, and A.R. Martin. 
1988. Influence of antidotes on forage grass 
seedling response to metolachlor and butylate. 
Weed Sci. 36:202-206. 

Haferkamp, M.R., G.L. Jordan, and K 
Matsuda. 1977. Pre-sowing seed treatments, 
seed coats, and metabolic activity of Lehmann 
lovegrass seeds. Agron. J. 69:527-530. 

Hall, M.H. 1995. Plant vigor and yield of 

perennial cool-season forage crops when summer 
planting is delayed. /. Prod. Agric. 8:233-238. 

Hall, M.H., W.S. Curran, E.L. Werner, and 
L.E. Marshal. 1995. Evaluation of weed 
control practices during spring and summer 
establishment./. Prod. Agric. 8:360-365. 



Hall, M.H., N.S. Hebrock, P.E. Pierson, 
J.L. Caddel, V.N. Owens, R.M. Sulc, D.J. 
Undersander, and R.E. Whitesides. 2010. 
The effects of glyphosate-tolerant technology on 
reduced alfalfa seeding rates. Agron. J. 102:91 1- 
916. 

Hall, M.H., C.J. Nelson, J.H. Coutts, and 
R.C. Stout. 2004. Effect of seeding rate on 
alfalfa stand longevity. Agron. J. 96:717-722. 

Hall, M.H., and L.R Vouch. 2007. Forage 
establishment and renovation, p. 343-354. In 
R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: The science of 
grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Blackwell, Ames, 
IA. 

Hansen, L.H., and C.R. Krueger 1973. Effect of 
establishment method, variety, and seeding rate 
on the production and quality of alfalfa under 
dryland and irrigation. Agron. J. 65:755-759. 

Hardarson, G., G.H. Heichel, C.R Vance, 
and D.K. Barnes. 1981. Evaluation of alfalfa 
and Rhizobium meliloti for compatibility in 
nodulation and nodule effectiveness. Crop Sci. 
21:562-567. 

Hardegree, S.P., T.A. Jones, B.A. Roundy, N.L. 
Shaw, and T.A. Monaco. 201 1. Assessment 
of range planting as a conservation practice, p. 
173-212. & D.D, Briske (ed.) Conservation 
benefits of rangeland practices: Assessment, 
recommendations, and knowledge gaps. Allen 
Press, Lawrence, KS. 

Harper, C.A., G.E. Bates, M.P. Hansbrough, 
M.J. Gudlin, J. P. Gruchy, and P.D. Keyser 
2007. Native warm-season grasses identification, 
establishment and management for wildlife 
and forage production in the mid-south. PB 
1752. Available at http://forages.tennessee.edu/ 
Page 1 0-%20Forage%20Species/Forage%20 
Species-%20Main%20Folder/PB1752.pdf. 
(verified 1 Sept. 2011). University of Tennessee 
Extension, Knoxville. 

Hart, R.H., G.E. Carlson, and H.J. Retzer 
1968. Establishment of tall fescue and white 
clover: Effects of seeding method and weather. 
Agron. J. 60:385-388. 

Haskins, FA., and H.J. Gorz. 1975. Influence of 
seed size, planting depth, and companion crop 
on emergence and vigor of seedlings in sweet 
clover. Agron. J. 67:652-654. 

Heydecker, W., and P. Coolbear. 1977. Seed 
treatments for improved performance — Survey 
and attempted prognosis. Seed Sci. Technol. 
5:353-425. 

Hill, M.J., and R. Luck. 1991. The effect of 
temperature on germination and seedling growth 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



of temperate perennial pasture legumes. Aust. J. 
Agric. Res. 42-A75-189. 

Hintz, R.L., K.R. Harmoney, K.J. Moore, 
J.R. George, and E.C. Brummer. 1998. 
Establishment of switchgrass and big bluestem in 
corn with atrazine. Agron. J. 90:591-596. 

Hofmann, L. and A.M. Decker. 1971. Getting 
good forage stands. Fact Sheet 130. Maryland 
Cooperative Extension Service. 

Hofmann, M., and J. Isselstein. 2005. 
Species enrichment in an agriculturally 
improved grassland and its effects on botanical 
composition, yield and forage quality. Grass 
Forage Sci. 60:136-145. 

Hopkins, A., M.G. Lambert, D.J. Barker, DA. 
Costall, P.M. Sanders, A.G. Scott, and W.M. 
Williams. 2000. Determination of management 
and topographic influences on the balance 
between resident and Grasslands Huia white 
clover (Trifolium repens) in an upland pasture 
using isozyme analysis./. Agric. Sci. 134:137-145. 

Howieson, J.G., B. Nutt, and P. Evans. 2000. 
Estimation of host-strain compatibility for 
symbiotic N-fixation between Rhizobium 
meliloti, several annual species of Medicago and 
Medicago sativa. Plant Soil 2 1 9:49-5 5 . 

Hoy, M.D., K.J. Moore, J.R. George, and E.C. 
Brummer. 2002. Alfalfa yield and quality as 
influenced by establishment method. Agron. J. 
94:65-71. 

Hsu, EH., C.J. Nelson, and A.G. Matches. 
1985a. Temperature effects on germination of 
perennial warm-season forage grasses. Crop Sci. 
25:215-220. 

Hsu, EH., C.J. Nelson, and A.G. Matches. 
1985b. Temperature effects on seedling 
development of perennial warm-season forage 
grasses. Crop Sci. 25:249-255. 

Hsu, EH. and C.J. Nelson. 1986a. Planting date 
effects on seedling development of perennial 
warm-season forage grasses. I. Field emergence. 
Agron. J. 78:33-37. 

Hsu, EH. and C.J. Nelson. 1986b. Planting date 
effects on seedling development of perennial 
warm-season forage grasses. II. Seedling growth. 
Agron. J. 78:38-42 

Hudspeth, E.B. and H.M. Taylor. 1961. Factors 
affecting seedling emergence of Blackwell 
switchgrass. Agron. J. 53:331-335. 

HuiSMAN, W., AND W.J. KORTLEVE. 1994. 

Mechanization of crop establishment, 
harvest, and post-harvest conservation of 
Miscanthus sinensis giganteus. Ind. Crops Prod. 
2:289-297. 



Hull, A.C. 1944. The relation of grazing to 
establishment and vigor of crested wheatgrass. /. 
Am. Soc. Agron. 36:358-360. 

Hwang, S.E, B.D. Gossen, G.D. Turnbull, 
K.F. Chang, and R.J. Howard. 2002. Seedbed 
preparation, timing of seeding, fertility and 
root pathogens affect establishment and yield of 
alfalfa. Can. J. Plant Sci. 82:371-381. 

Hynes, R.K, KA. Craig, D. Covert, R.S. 
Smith, and R.J. Rennie. 1995. Inoculants/ 
additives, liquid rhizobial inoculants for lentil 
and field pea. /. Prod. Agric. 8:547-552. 

Jefferson, P.G., G. Lyons, R. Past, and R.R. 
Zentner. 2005- Companion crop establishment 
of short-lived perennial forage crops in 
Saskatchewan. Can. J. Plant Sci. 85:135-146. 

Jennings, J.A., and C.J. Nelson. 2002a. Rotation 
interval and pesticide effects on establishment of 
alfalfa after alfalfa. Agron. J. 94:786-791. 

Jennings, J.A., and C.J. Nelson. 2002b. Zone 
of autotoxic influence around established alfalfa 
plants. Agron. J. 94:1 104-1 111. 

Jones, M.B., J.C. Burton, and C.E. "Vaughn. 
1978. Role of inoculation in establishing 
subclover on California annual grasslands. Agron. 
/.70:1081-1085. 

Jung, G.A., and JA. Shaffer. 1993. Planting 
date and seeding rate effects on morphological 
development and yield of turnip. Crop Sci. 
33:1329-1334. 

Jung, G.A., and JA. Shaffer. 1995. Planting and 
harvest date effects on productivity and root/ 
shoot quotient of four brassica cultivars. Agron. 
J. 87:1004-1010. 

Kalburtji, K.L., JA. Mosjidis, and A.P. 
Mamolos. 2007. Effects of day-night 
temperature combinations under constant day 
length on emergence and early growth of Sericea 
lespedeza genotypes. Can. J. Plant Sci. 87:77-81. 

Keeley, RE., and R.J. Thullen. 1989. Influence 
of planting date on growth of bermudagrass 
(Cynodon dactylon). Weed Sci. 37:531-537. 

Kelly, KB., C.R. Stockdate, and W.K 

Mason. 2005. Effects of initial sowing rate and 
subsequent grazing management on the growth 
and clover content of irrigated white clover- 
perennial ryegrass swards in northern Victoria. 
Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 45:1595-1602. 

Kilcher, M.R. 1961. Fall seeding versus spring 
seeding in the establishment of five grasses and 
one alfalfa in southern Saskatchewan. /. Range 
Manage. 14: 320-322. 

Koch. D.W, and G.O. Estes. 1986. Liming 
rate and method in relation to forage 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



establishment — crop and soil chemical 
responses. Agron. J. 78:567-571. 

Koch, D.W., J.B. Holter, D.M. Coates, and 
J.R. Mitchell. 1987. Animal evaluation of 
forages following several methods of field 
renovation. Agron. J. 79:1044-1048. 

Roller, H.R., and J.M. Scholl. 1968. Effect 
of row spacing and seeding rate on forage 
production and chemical composition of two 
sorghum cultivars harvested at two cutting 
frequencies. Agron. J. 60:456-459. 

Rremer, R.J. , and H.L. Peterson. 1983. Field 
evaluation of selected Rhizobium in an improved 
legume inoculant. Agron. J. 75:139-143. 

Rroth, E.M., L. Meinke, and R.F. Dudley. 
1976. Establishing reed canarygrass on low 
fertility soil. Agron. J. 68:791-794 

Rust, C.A. 1968. Herbicides or oat companion 
crops for alfalfa establishment and forage yields. 
Agron. J. 60:151-154. 

Laberge, G. P. Seguin, PR. Peterson, C.C. 
Sheaffer, N.J. Ehlke, G.J. Cuomo, and R.D. 
Mathison. 2005. Establishment of kura clover 
no-tilled into grass pastures with herbicide sod 
suppression and nitrogen fertilization. Agron. J. 
97:250-256. 

Lamb, J.F.S., C.C. Sheaffer, L.H. Rhodes, 
R.M. Sulc, D.J. Undersander, and E.C. 
Brummer. 2006. Five decades of alfalfa 
cultivar improvement: Impact on forage yield, 
persistence, and nutritive value. Crop Sci. 
46:902-909. 

Lamb, J.F.S., H.J.G. Jung, C.C. Sheaffer, and 
D.A. Samac. 2007. Alfalfa leaf protein and 
stem cell wall polysaccharide yields under hay 
and biomass management systems. Crop Sci. 
47:1407-1415. 

Lambert, M.G., A.P Rhodes, D.J. Barker, and 
J.S. Bircham. 1985. Establishing and managing 
improved plants in hill country, p. 31-35. In 
R.E. Burgess and J.L. Brock (ed.) Using and 
managing improved plants in hill country. New 
Zealand Grassland Association, Palmerston 
North, New Zealand. 

Lanini, W.T., S.B. Orloff, R.N. Vargas, J.R 
Orr, V.L. Marble, and S.R. Grattan. 1991. 
Oat companion crop seeding rate effects on 
alfalfa establishment, yield, and weed control. 
Agron. J. 83:330-333. 

Lewis, D.N., A.H. Marshall, and D.H. Hides. 
1998. Influence of storage conditions on seed 
germination and vigour of temperate forage 
species. Seed Sci. Technol. 26:643-655. 

Lloveras, J., C. Chocarro, O. Freixes, E. 



Arque, A. Moreno, and F. Santiveri. 2008. 
Yield, yield components, and forage nutritive 
value of alfalfa as affected by seeding rate under 
irrigated conditions. Agron. J. 100:191-197. 

Loch, D.S. 1993. Tropical pasture establishment. 
5. Improved handling of chaffy grass seeds: 
options opportunities and value. Trop. Grassl. 
27:314-326. 

MacAdam, J.W., and C.J. Nelson. 2003. 
Physiology of forage plants, p. 73-97. In R.F 
Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction to 
grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, 
Ames. 

Madakadze, I.C., B. Prithiviraj, R.M. 
Madakadze, R. Stewart, P. Peterson, B.E. 
Coulman, and D.L. Smith. 2000. Effect of 
preplant seed conditioning treatment on the 
germination of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 
L.). Seed Sci. Technol. 28:403-411. 

Maderik, R.A., S.R. Gagon, and J.R. 

Makuch (ed.) 2006. Environmental effects 
of conservation practices on grazing lands — A 
Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) 
bibliography. National Agricultural Library, 
Beltsville, MD. 

Mangan, M.E., C. Sheaffer, D.L. Wyse, N.J. 
Ehlke, and P.B. Reich. 2011. Native perennial 
grassland species for bioenergy: Establishment 
and biomass productivity. Agron. J. 103:509- 
519. 

Marble, V. L., and B. Peterson. 1981. Planting 
dates and seeding rates for central California, 
p. 22-26. In Proc. 1 1th Calif. Alfalfa Symp., 
Fresno, CA. 

Martin, A.R., R.S. Moomaw, and R.R Vogel. 
1982. Warm-season grass establishment with 
atrazine. Agron. J. 74:916-920. 

Masters, R.A. 1995. Establishment of big 
bluestem and sand bluestem cultivars with 
metolachlor and atrazine. Agron. J. 87:592-596. 

Masters, R.A. 1997. Influence of seeding rate 
on big bluestem establishment with herbicides. 
Agron. J. 89:947-951. 

Masters, R.A., S.J. Nissen, R.E. Gaussoin, 
D.D. Beran, and R.N. Stougaard. 1996. 
Imidazolinone herbicides improve restoration of 
Great Plains grasslands. Weed Technol. 10:392— 
403. 

Masters, R.A., P. Mislevy, L.E. Moser, and 
F. Rivas-Pantoja. 2004. Establishment, p. 
145-175. In L.E. Moser et al. (ed.) Warm-season 
grasses. Agron. Monogr. 45. ASA, CSSA, SSSA. 
Madison, WI. 

McCordick, S.A., D.E. Hillger, R.L. Leep, 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



and J.J. Kells. 2008. Establishment systems 
for glyphosate-resistant alfalfa. Weed Technol. 
22:22-29. 

McCormick, J.S., R.M. Sulc, D.J. Barker, and 
J.E. Beuerlein. 2006. Yield and nutritive value of 
autumn-seeded winter-hardy and winter-sensitive 
annual forages. Crop Sci. 46:1981-1989. 

McGinnies, W.J. 1960. Effects of moisture stress 
and temperature on germination of six range 
grasses. Agron. /. 52:159-162. 

McKenna, J.R., D.D. Wolf, and M. Lenter. 
1991. No-till warm-season grass establishment 
as affected by atrazine and carbofuran. Agron. J. 
83:311-316. 

McMurphy, WE. 1969. Pre-emergent herbicides 
for seeding range grasses. /. Range Manage. 
22:427-429. 

Miller, M.S., and M.R. Owsley. 1994. 
Switchgrass seeding and establishment: Soil 
type and seeding depth effects on germination, 
emergence and development. Proc. Am. Forage 
Grassl. Counc. 4:202—206. 

Miller, D.A., and J.E Stritzke. 1995. Forage 
establishment and weed management, p. 
89-104. In R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: The 
science of grassland agriculture. 5th ed. Iowa 
State Univ. Press, Ames. 

Moore, R.R 1943. Seedling emergence of small- 
seeded legumes and grasses. Agron. J. 35:370- 
381. 

Moore, K.J., T.A. White, R.L. Hintz, P.K. 
Patrick, and E.C. Brummer 2004. Sequential 
grazing of cool- and warm-season pastures. 
Agron. J. 96:1103-1111. 

Mosjidis, JA. 1990. Daylength and temperature 
effects on emergence and early growth of sericea 
lespedeza. Agron. J. 82:923-926. 

Mosjidis, J.A., and X. Zhang. 1995. Seed 
germination and root growth of several Vicia 
species at different temperatures. Seed Sci. 
Technol. 23:749-759. 

Mueller, J. P., and D.S. Chamblee. 1984. Sod- 
seeding of Ladino clover and alfalfa as influenced 
by seed placement, seeding date and grass 
suppression. Agron. J. 76:284-289. 

Mueller- Warrant, G.W, and D.W Koch. 
1980. Establishment of alfalfa by conventional 
and minimum tillage seeding techniques in a 
quackgrass dominant sward. Agron. J. 72:884- 
889. 

Mueller- Warrant, G.W, and D.W. Koch. 
1983. Fall and spring herbicide treatment for 
minimum tillage seeding of alfalfa (Medicago 
sativa). WeedSci. 31:391-395. 



Mulkey, V.R., V.N. Owens, and D.K. Lee. 
2006. Management of switchgrass-dominated 
Conservation Reserve Program lands for biomass 
production in South Dakota. Crop Sci. 46:712- 
720. 

Munns, D.N., H.H. Keyser, V.W Fogle, J.S. 

HOHENBERG, T.L. RlGHETTI, D.L. LaUTER, 

M.G. Zaroug, K.L. Clarkin, and K.W 
Whitacre. 1979. Tolerance of soil acidity in 
symbioses of mungbean with Rhizobia. Agron. J. 
71:256-260. 

Murphy, R.R, and A.C. Arny. 1939. The 

emergence of grass and legume seedlings planted 
at different depths in five soil types. Agron. J. 
31:17-28. 

Murray, S.C., W.L. Rooney, S.E. Mitchell, 
A. Sharma, RE. Klein, J.E. Mullet, and S. 
Kresovich. 2008. Genetic improvement of 
sorghum as a biofuel feedstock: II. QTL for 
stem and leaf structural carbohydrates. Crop Sci. 
48:2180-2193. 

Mutz, J.C., and C.J. Scifres. 1975. Soil texture 
and planting depth influence buffelgrass 
emergence./. Range Manage. 28:222—224. 

Newman, P.R., and L.E. Moser 1988. Grass 
seedling emergence, morphology, and 
establishment as affected by planting depth. 
Agron. J. 80:383-387. 

Olsen, F.J., and D.M. Elkins. 1977. Renovation 
of tall fescue pasture with lime- pelleted legume 
seed. Agron. J. 69:871-874. 

Olsen, F. J., J.H. Jones, and J.J. Faix. 1978. 
Forage establishment in wheat stubble. Agron. J. 
70:969-972. 

Olsen, E J., J.H. Jones, and J.J. Patterson. 
1981. Sod-seeding forage legumes in a tall fescue 
sward. Agron. J. 73:1032-1036. 

Olson, G.L., S.R. Smith, G.D. Lacefield, 
and D.C. Ditsch. 2010. 2010 red and white 
clover report. Report PR-610. Agricultural 
Experiment Station Report, University of 
Kentucky. 

Owens, L.B., WM. Edwards, and R.W Van 
Keuren. 1989. Sediment and nutrient losses 
from an unimproved, all-year grazed watershed. 
/. Environ. Qual. 18:232-238. 

Owens, L.B., and J.V. Bonta. 2004. Reduction 
of nitrate leaching with haying or grazing and 
omission of nitrogen fertilizer./. Envron. Qual. 
33:1230-1237. 

Owens, L.B., and M.J. Shipitalo. 2009. Runoff 
quality evaluations of continuous and rotational 
over-wintering systems for beef cows. Agric, 
Ecosyst. Environ. 129:482-490. 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



Pasumarty, S.V., S. Higuchi, andT. Murata. 
1996. Influence of seed quality on field 
establishment and forage yield of white clover 
(Trifolium repens L)./. Agron. Crop Sci. (Z. 
Acker- Pflanzenbau) . 177:321-326. 

Peltonen-Sainio, P., M. Kontturi, and J. 
Peltonen. 2006. Phosphorus seed coating 
enhancement on early growth and yield 
components in oat. Agron. J. 98:206-21 1. 

Peeters, A., and F. Janssens. 1998. Species-rich 
grasslands: diagnostic, restoration and use in 
intensive livestock production systems. Grassl. 
Sri. Eur. 3:375-393. 

Peters, E.J., and S.A. Lowance. 1970. Herbicides 
for control of ragweeds in Korean lespedeza. 
Agron. J. 62:400-402. 

Peters, E.J., and J.F. Stritzke. 1970. Herbicides 
and nitrogen fertilizer for the establishment of 
three varieties of spring-sown alfalfa. Agron. J. 
62:259-262. 

Pitman, W.D. 2000. 'Georgia-5' tall fescue 
establishment responses to amendment of 
Louisiana coastal plain soils. Agron. J. 92:479— 
484. 

Prevost, D., L.M. Bordeleau, and H. Antoun. 
1987. Symbiotic effectiveness of indigenous 
arctic rhizobia on a temperate forage legume: 
Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia). Plant Soil 
104:63-69 

Prine, G.M., and E.C. French. 1999. New 
forage, grain, and energy crops for humid 
lower south U.S. p. 60-65. In J. Janick (ed.) 
Perspectives on new crops and new uses. 
American Society of Horticultural Science Press, 
Alexandria, VA. 

Qiu, J., and J.A. Mosjidis. 1993. Genotype 
and planting depth effects on seedling vigor in 
Sericea lespedeza. J. Range Manage. 46:309-312. 

Qiu, J., JA. Mosjidis, and J.C. Williams. 1995. 
Variability for temperature of germination in 
Sericea lespedeza germplasm. Crop Sci. 35:237- 
241. 

Radcliffe, J.C, W.S. McGuire, and M.D. 
Dawson. 1967. Survival of rhizobia on pelleted 
seeds of Trifolium subterraneum. L. Agron. J. 
59:56-58. 

Rao, S.C., S.W. Akers, and R.M. Ahring. 1987. 
Priming brassica seed to improve emergence 
under different temperatures and soil moisture 
conditions. Crop Sci. 27:1050-1053. 

Reeder, R., and D. Westermann. 2006. Soil 
management practices, p. 1-88. In M. Schnepf 
and C. Cox (ed.) Environmental benefits of 
conservation on cropland — The status of our 



knowledge. Soil and Water Conservation Society, 
Ankeny, IA. 

Reicosky, D.C., and D.W Archer 2007. 
Moldboard plow tillage depth and short-term 
carbon dioxide release. Soil Tillage Res. 94:109- 
121. 

Rich, PA., E.C. Holt, and R.W Weaver 1983. 
Establishment and nodulation of arrowleaf 
clover. Agron. J. 75:83-86. 

Ries, R.E., and T.J. Svejcar 1991. The grass 
seedling: When is it established? /. Range 
Manage. 44:574-576. 

Ries, R.E., and L. Hofmann. 1995. Grass seedling 
morphology when planted at different depths. /. 
Range Manage. 48:218-223. 

Roberts, C.A., K.J. Moore, and K.D. Johnson. 
1989. Forage quality and yield of wheat- vetch 
at different stages of maturity and vetch seeding 
rates. Agron. /. 8 1 :57-60. 

Roder, W, S.S. Waller, J.L. Stubbendiek, L.E. 
Moser, and A.R. Martin. 1 987. Effect of 
herbicide safeners on sand and little bluestem. /. 
Range Manage. 40:144-147. 

Rogis, C, L.R. Gibson, A.D. Knapp, and R. 
Horton. 2004. Enhancing germination of 
eastern gamagrass seed with stratification and 
gibberellic acid. Crop Sci. 44:549-552. 

Ross, S.M., J.R. King, J.T. O'Donovan, and D. 
Spaner 2004. Forage potential of intercropping 
berseem clover with barley, oat, or triticale. 
Agron. J. 96:1013-1020. 

Roundy, BA. 1985. Emergence and establishment 
of basin wildrye and tall wheatgrass in relation 
to moisture and salinity. /. Range Manage. 
38:126-130. 

Roundy, B.A., V.K Winkel, J.R. Cox, A.K 
Dobrenz, and H. Tewolde. 1993. Sowing 
depth and soil water effects on seedling 
emergence and root morphology of three warm- 
season grasses. Agron. J. 85:975-982. 

Rumbaugh, M.D., KL. Lawson, and DA. 
Johnson. 1990. Paired rhizobia general and 
specific effects on subterranean clover seedling 
growth. Crop Sci. 30:682-685. 

Sanderson, M.A., and G.F. Elwinger 2000. 
Seedling development of chicory and plantain. 
Agron. J. 92:69-74. 

Sanderson, M.A., and G.F. Elwinger 2004. 
Emergence and seedling structure of temperate 
grasses at different planting depths. Agron. J. 
96:685-691. 

Sanderson, M.A., R.H. Skinner, and G.F. 
Elwinger. 2002. Seedling development and 
field performance of prairiegrass, grazing 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



bromegrass, and orchardgrass. Crop Sci. 

42:224-230. 
Sanderson, M.A., D.J. Barker, G.R. Edwards, 

B. Tracy, R.H. Skinner, and D. Wedin. 2004. 

Plant species diversity and management of 

temperate forage and grazing land ecosystems. 

Crop Sci. 44:1132-1144. 
Sanderson, M.A., K.J. Soder, L.D. Muller, 

K.D. Klement, R.H. Skinner, and S.C. 

Goslee. 2005. Forage mixture productivity and 

botanical composition in pastures grazed by 

dairy cattle. Agron. J. 97:1465-1471. 

SCHELLENBERG, M.P., AND J. WaDDINGTON. 1997. 

Comparison of sodseeding versus slotseeding 
of alfalfa into established crested wheatgrass in 
southwestern Saskatchewan. Can. J. Plant Sci. 
77:573-578. 
Schmer, M.R., K.P. Vogel, B.R. Mitchell, L.E. 

MOSER, K.M. ESKRIDGE, AND R.K. PeRRIN. 

2005. Establishment stand thresholds for 
switchgrass grown as a bioenergy crop. Crop Sci. 
46:457-161. 

Schmid, A.R., and R. Behrens. 1972. Herbicides 
vs oat companion crops for alfalfa establishment. 
Agron. J. 64:157-159. 

Scott, J.M. 1989. Seed coatings and treatments 
and their effects on plant establishment. Adv. 
Agron. 42:43-83. 

Self-Davis, M.L., PA. Moore Jr, T.C. Daniel, 
D.J. Nichols, T.J. Sauer, C.R West, G.E. 
Aiken, and D.R. Edwards. 2003. Forage 
species and canopy cover effects on runoff from 
small plots. J. Soil Water Conserv. 58:349-359. 

Seguin, P. 1998. Review of factors determining 
legumes sod-seeding outcome during pasture 
renovation in North America. Biotechnol. Agron. 
Soc. Environ. 2:120—127. 

Seguin, P., C.C. Sheaffer, N.J. Ehlke, and 
R.L. Becker. 1999. Kura clover establishment 
methods./. Prod. Agric. 12:483-487. 

Seguin, P., C.C. Sheaffer, N.J. Ehlke, M.R 
Russelle, and PH. Graham. 2001. Nitrogen 
fertilization and rhizobial inoculation effects on 
kura clover growth. Agron. J. 93:1262-1268. 

Sheaffer, C.C. 1983. Seeding year harvest 
management of alfalfa. Agron. J. 75:1 15—1 19. 

Sheaffer, C.C, and D.R. Swanson. 1982. Seeding 
rates and grass suppression for sod-seeded red 
clover and alfalfa. Agron. J. 74:355-358. 

Sheaffer, C.C, M.H. Hall, N.R Martin, 
D.L. Rabas, J.H. Ford, and D.D. Warnes. 
1988. Effects of seed coating on forage legume 
establishment in Minnesota. Sta. Bull. 584-1988 
(item no. AD-SB-3422). Minnesota Agricultural 



Experiment Station, University of Minnesota, 

St. Paul. 
Sheaffer, C.C, D.J. Undersander, and R.L. 

Becker 2007. Comparing Roundup Ready and 

conventional systems of alfalfa establishment. 

Forage Grazinglands doi:10.1094/FG-2007- 

0724-0 1-RS. 
Sheard, R.W. 1980. Nitrogen in the P band for 

forage establishment. Agron. J. 72:89—97. 
Shibles, R.M.,and HA. MacDonald. 1962. 

Photosynthetic area and rate in relation to 

seedling vigor of birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus 

corniculatus L.) . Crop Sci. 2:299—302. 
Siemann, E. 1998. Experimental tests of effects 

of plant productivity and diversity on grassland 

arthropod diversity. Ecology 79:2057-2070. 
Siemann, E., D. Tilman, J. Haarstad, and 

M. Ritchie. 1988. Experimental tests of the 

dependence of athropod diversity on plant 

diversity. Am. Nat. 152:738-750. 
Simmons, S.R., C.C. Sheaffer, D.C. Rasmusson, 

D.D. Stuthman, and S.E. Nickel. 1995. 

Alfalfa establishment with barley and oat 

companion crops differing in stature. Agron. J. 

87:268-272. 
Skinner, R.H. 2005. Emergence and survival 

of pasture species sown in monocultures or 

mixtures. Agron. J. 97:799-805. 
Skinner, R.H. 2008. High biomass removal limits 

carbon sequestration potential of mature temperate 

pastures./. Environ. Qual. 37:1319-1326. 
Skinner, R.H., and PR. Adler 2010. Carbon 

dioxide and water fluxes from switchgrass 

managed for bioenergy production. Agric. 

Ecosyst. Environ. 138:257-264. 
Skinner, R.H., MA. Sanderson, B.F. Tracy, 

and C.J. Dell. 2006. Above- and belowground 

productivity and soil carbon dynamics of pasture 

mixtures. Agron. J. 98:320-326. 
Smith, G.R., W.E. Knight, H.L. Peterson, and 

C. Hagedorn. 1982. The effect of Rhizobium 

trifolii strains and crimson clover genotypes on 

N, fixation. Crop Sci. 22:970-972. 

SOLLENBERGER, L.E., K.H. QuESENBERRY, AND J.E. 

Moore. 1987. Effects of grazing management 
on establishment and productivity of 
aeschynomene overseeded in limpograss pastures. 
Agron. J. 79:78-82. 

Steckel, L.E., R.M. Hayes, R.F. Montgomery, 
and T.C. Mueller 2007. Evaluating glyphosate 
treatments of Roundup Ready alfalfa for crop 
injury and feed quality. Forage Grazinglands 
doi:10.1094/FG-2007-0201-01-RS. 

Steiner, J.J., S.M. Griffith, G.W. Mueller- 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



Warrant, OW Whittaker, G.M. Banowetz, 
and L.F. Elliott. 2006. Conservation Practices 
in western Oregon perennial grass seed systems: 
I. Impacts of direct seeding and maximal residue 
management on production. Agron. J. 98: 177-1 86. 

Stickler, C, and D. Bade. 1996. Forage 
bermudagrass: Selection, establishment, and 
management. B-6035. Texas Agricultural 
Extension Service, Texas A&M University, 
College Station. 

Sticklen, M.B. 2007. Feedstock crop genetic 
engineering for alcohol fuels. Crop Sci. 47:2238- 
2248. 

Stickler, EC, and C.E. Wassom. 1963. 

Emergence and seedling vigor of birdsfoot trefoil 
as affected by planting depth, seed size, and 
variety. Agron. J. 55:78. 

Stout, D.G., K. Broersma, and S.N. Acharya. 
1997. Seed preinoculation and soil liming for 
growth of forage legumes on acidic clay soils. /. 
Agric. Sci. 128:51-57. 

Sturgul, S.J., T.C. Daniel, and D.H. Mueller 
1990. Tillage and canopy cover effects on inter- 
rill erosion from first-year alfalfa. Soil Sci. Soc. 
Am. J. 54:1733-1739. 

Sulc, R.M., K.A. Albrecht, and M.D. Casler 
1993a. Ryegrass companion crops for alfalfa 
establishment: I. Forage yield and alfalfa 
suppression. Agron. J. 85:67-74. 

Sulc, R.M., K.A. Albrecht, and M.D. Casler 
1993b. Ryegrass companion crops for alfalfa 
establishment: II. Forage quality in the seeding 
year. Agron. J. 85:75-80. 

Sulc, R.M., and K.A. Albrecht. 1996. Alfalfa 
establishment with diverse annual ryegrass 
cultivars. Agron. J. 88:442-447. 

Sulc, R.M., and L.H. Rhodes. 1997. Planting 
date, fungicide, and cultivar effects on sclerotinia 
crown and stem rot severity in alfalfa. Plant Dis. 
81:13-17. 

Sulc, R.M., and B.F Tracy. 2007. Integrated 
crop— livestock systems in the U.S. Corn Belt. 
Agron. J, 99:335-345. 

Suman, R.E 1954. Initial fertilizer applications key 
to clover establishment on forested coastal plains 
soil. Agron. J. 46:24 1 . 

Summers, C, and D. Putnam. 2008. Irrigated 
alfalfa management for Mediterranean and 
desert zones. Publication 3512, Agriculture and 
Natural Resources, University of California, 
Davis. 

Swain, EC, A.M. Decker, and H.J. Retzer. 
1965. Sod-seeding of annual forages into 
'Midland' bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon 



L.) pastures. 1 . Species evaluation. Agron. J. 
57:596-598. 
Taliaferro, CM., EM. Rouquette, Jr, and P. 
Mislevy. 2004. Bermudagrass and stargrass. p. 
417-438. In L.E. Moser et al. (ed.) Warm-season 
(C) grasses. Agronomy Monograph 45, ASA, 
CSSA, SSSA, Madison, WI. 

Tasei, J.N., G. RlPAULT, AND E. RlVAULT. 2001. 

Hazards of imidacloprid seed coating to Bombus 
terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae) when applied 
to sunflower./. Econ. Entomol. 94:623-627. 

Taylor, T.H., E.M. Smith, and WC Templeton. 
1969. Use of minimum tillage and herbicide for 
establishing legumes in Kentucky bluegrass (Poa 
pratenis L.) swards. Agron. J. 61:761-766. 

TeKrony, D.M. 2006. Seeds: The delivery system 
for crop science. Crop Sci. 46:2263-2269. 

TeKrony, D.M., and D.B Egli. 1991. 
Relationship of seed vigor to crop yield: A 
review. Crop Sci. 31:816-822. 

Terrill, T.R. 1961. Establishment of forage crops 
in Pennsylvania tobacco rotations. M.S. thesis. 
Pennsylvania State University, University Park. 

Tesar, M.B. 1993. Delayed seeding of alfalfa 
avoids autotoxicity after plowing or glyphosate 
treatment of established stands. Agron. J. 
85:256-263. 

Tesar, M.B., K Lawton, and B. Kawin. 1954. 
Comparison of band seeding and other methods 
of seeding legumes. Agron. J. 46:189-194. 

Teutsch, CD., R.M. Sulc, and A.L. Barta. 
2000. Banded phosphorus effects on alfalfa 
seedling growth and productivity after temporary 
waterlogging. Agron. J. 92:48-54. 

Thies, J.E., P.W Singleton, and B.B. Bohlool. 
1991. Influence of the size of indigenous 
rhizobial populations on establishment and 
symbiotic performance of introduced rhizobia 
on field-grown legumes. Appl. Environ. 
Microbiol. 57:19-28. 

Thompson, T. 1970. Weed management using a no- 
till grass establishment. Weeds Today 15:10—12. 

Thornton, EC, and C.B. Davey. 1983. Response 
of the clover- rhizobium symbiosis to soil acidity 
and rhizobium strain. Agron. J. 75:557-560. 

Tian, X., A.D. Knapp, KJ. Moore, E.C 
Brummer, and T.B. Bailey. 2002. Cupule 
removal and caryopsis scarification improves 
germination of eastern gamagrass seed. Crop Sci. 
42:185-189. 

Tischler, C.R., and P.W. Voigt. 1983. Effects of 
planting depth on vegetative characteristics of 
three forage grasses at 14 days post emergence. 
Crop Sci. 23:481-484. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



D. J. Barker, J. W. MacAdam, T. J. Butler, and R. M. Sulc 



Townsend, C.E. 1979. Association among seed 
weight, seedling emergence, and planting depth 
in cicer milkvetch. Agron. J. 71:410-414. 

Townsend, C.E. 1992. Seedling emergence of 
yellow-flowered alfalfa as influenced by seed 
weight and planting depth. Agron. J. 84:821-826. 

Townsend, C.E., and W.J. McGinnies. 1972a. 
Temperature requirements for seed germination 
of several forage legumes. Agron. J. 64:809-812. 

Townsend, C. E., and W.J. McGinnies. 1972b. 
Mechanical scarification of cicer milkvetch 
(Astragalus cicer L.) seed. Crop Sci. 12:392-394. 

Triplett, Jr., G.B., and M.B. Tesar 1960. 
Effect of compaction, depth of planting, and 
soil moisture tension on seedling emergence of 
alfalfa. Agron. J. 52:681-684. 

Trotman, A.P., and R.W Weaver 1995. 
Tolerance of clover rhizobia to heat and 
desiccation stresses in soil. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 
59:466-470. 

Trotman, A.P., and R.W. Weaver 2000. Survival 
of rhizobia on arrowleaf clover seeds under 
stresses of seed-coat toxins, heat and desiccation. 
Plant Soil 218:43-47. 

TSCHARNTKE, T, AND G. HANS-JOACHIM. 1995- 

Insect communities, grasses, and grasslands. 

Annu. Rev. Entomol. 40:535-558. 
Twamley, B.E. 1974. Recurrent selection for seedling 

vigor in birdsfoot trefoil. Crop Sci. 4:87-90. 
Undersander, D., N. Martin, D. Cosgrove, K. 

Kelling, M. Schmitt, R. Becker, C. Grau, 

and J. Doll. 1991. Alfalfa management guide. 

ASA-CSSA-SSSA, Madison, WI. 
Undersander, D.J, D.C. West, and M.D. 

Casler 2001. Frost seeding into aging alfalfa 

stands: Sward dynamics and pasture productivity. 

Agron.]. 93:609-619. 
Undersander, D.J., and L.J. Greub. 2007. 

Summer-fall seeding dates for six cool-season 

grasses in the midwest United States. Agron. J. 

99:1579-1586. 
Vallentine, J.E 1989. Range development and 

improvements. 3rd ed. Academic Press, San 

Diego, CA. 
Van Berkum, P., D. Beyene, F.T. Vera, and H.H. 

Keyser 1995. Variability among rhizobium 

strains originating from nodules of Vicia faba. 

Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61:2649-2653. 
Vadas, PA., L.B. Owens, and A.N. Sharpley. 

2008. An empirical model for dissolved 

phosphorus in runoff from surface-applied 

fertilizers. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 127:59—65. 
Vassey, T.L, J.R. George, and R.E. Mullen. 

1985. Early-, mid-, and late-spring establishment 



of switchgrass at several seeding rates. Agron. J. 
77:253-257. 

Vessey, K.J. 2004. Benefits of inoculating legume 
crops with Rhizobia in the northern Great 
Plains. Crop Manage, doi: 10.1094/CM-2004- 
0301-04-RV 

Vickery, J.A., J.R. Tallowin, R.E. Feber, E.J. 
Asteraki, RW Atkinson, R.J. Fuller, and 
V.K. Brown. 2001. The management of 
lowland neutral grasslands in Britain: Effects of 
agricultural practices on birds and their food 
resources./. Appl. Ecol. 38:647-664. 

Vincent, J.E., and M.S. Smith. 1982. Evaluation 
of inoculants viability on commercially 
inoculated legume seed. Agron. J. 74:921-923. 

Vogel, K.P 1987. Seeding rates for establishing 
big bluestem and switchgrass with preemergent 
Atrazine applications. Agron. J. 79:509—512. 

Vogel, K.P, J.J. Brejda, D.T. Walters, and D.R. 
Buxton. 2002. Switchgrass biomass production 
in the Midwest USA. Agron. J. 94:413-420. 

Vogel, K.P, A.A. Hopkins, K.J. Moore, K.D. 
Johnson, and IT. Carlson. 2006. Genetic 
variation among Canada wildrye accessions from 
midwest USA remnant prairies for biomass yield 
and other traits. Crop Sci. 46:2348-2353. 

Vogel K.P, and R.B. Mitchell. 2008. Heterosis 
in switchgrass: Biomass yield in swards. Crop Sci. 
48:2159-2164. 

Wade, R.H., C.S. Hoveland, and A.E. 

Hiltbold. 1972. Inoculum rate and pelleting of 
arrowleaf clover seed. Agron. J. 64:481-483. 

Waggoner, J.A., G.W Evers, and R.W. Weaver 
1979. Adhesive increases inoculation efficiency 
in white clover. Agron. J. 71:375-377. 

Walker, D.W, B. Motes, A.A. Hopkins, and 
J. Johnson. 2001. Effects of seeding depth 
on stand establishment of various cool season 
perennial grasses. Proc. Am. For. Grassl. Council 
10:319. 

Walley, F, G. Clayton, Y. Gan, and G. Lafond. 
2004. Performance of rhizobial inoculants 
formulations in the field. Crop Manage, doi: 
10.1094/CM-2004-0301-03-RV 

Wang, L.P., PA. Jackson, X. Lu, Y.H. Fan, J.W 
Foreman, X.K. Chen, H.H. Deng, C. Fu, 
L. Ma, and K.S. Aitken. 2008. Evaluation of 
sugarcane x Saccharum spontaneum progeny for 
biomass composition and yield components. 
Crop Sci. 48:951-961. 

Wang, Y.R., L. Yu, Z.B. Nan, and Y.L. Liu. 2004. 
Vigor tests used to rank seed lot quality and 
predict field emergence in four forage species. 
Crop Sci. 44:535-541. 



CHAPTER 2: Forage and Biomass Planting 



Ward, C.Y., and R.E. Blaser. 1961. Effect of 
nitrogen fertilizer on emergence and seedling 
growth of forage plants and subsequent 
production. Agron. J. 53:115-120. 

Watson, H., A.G. Matches, and E.J. Peters. 
1968. Influence of method of planting and 
nitrogen fertilizer on the establishment of 
birdsfoot trefoil. Agron. J. 60:709-710. 

West, C.P., N.P. Martin, and G.C. Marten. 
1980. Nitrogen and Rhizobium effects on 
establishment of legumes via strip tillage. Agron. 
J. 72:620-624. 

White, R.S. 1984. Stand establishment: The role 
of seedling size and winter injury in early growth 
of three perennial grass species./. Range Manage. 
37:206-211. 

White, W.J., and W.H. Horner. 1943. The 
winter survival of grass and legume plants in fall 
sown plots. Sci. Agric. 23:399-408. 

White, R.S. , and P.O. Currie. 1980. 

Morphological factors related to seedling winter 
injury in three perennial grasses. Can. J. Plant 
Sci. 60:1411-1418. 

Wiersma, D.W, PC. Hoffman, and M.J. 

Mlynarek. 1999. Companion crops for legume 
establishment: Forage yield, quality, and 
establishment success. /. Prod. Agric. 12:1 16— 
122. 

Williams, W.A., and B.L. Kay. 1959. Limestone 
pelleting of subterranean clover tested on acid 
soils./. Range Manage. 12:205-207. 

Williams, W.A. 1967. Seedling growth of 

hypogeal legume, Vicia dasycarpa, in relation to 
seed weight. Crop Sci. 7:163-165. 

Wilson, R.G. 1994. Effect of imazethapyr on 
legumes and the effect of legumes on weeds. 
WeedTechnol. 8:536-540. 

Wilson, R.G. , and PA. Burgener. 2009. 
Evaluation of glyphosate-tolerant and 
conventional alfalfa weed control systems during 
the first year of establishment. Weed Technol. 
23:257-263. 

Winkel, V.K., BA. Roundy, and J.R. Cox. 1991. 
Influence of seedbed microsite characteristics 



on grass seedling emergence. /. Range Manage. 
44:210-214. 

Wolf, D.D., H.E. White, and D.R. Ramsdell. 
1983. No-till alfalfa establishment: A 
breakthrough in technology. Crops Soils 36:13-16. 

Wolf, D.D., JA. Balasko, and R.E. Reis. 1996. 
Stand establishment, p. 71-85. In L.E. Moser et 
al. (ed.) Cool-season forage grasses. Agronomy 
Monograph 34, ASA, CSSA, SSSA. Madison, WI. 

WOLLENHAUPT, N.C., A.H. BoSWORTH, J.D. DOLL, 

and D.J. Undersander. 1995. Erosion from 
alfalfa established with oat under conservation 
tillage. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 59:538-543. 

Zahran, H.H. 1999. Rhizobium-legume 
symbiosis and nitrogen fixation under severe 
conditions and in arid climate. Microbiol. Mol. 
Biol. Rev. 63:968-989. 

Zarnstorff, M.E., R.D. Keys, and D.S. 

Chamblee. 1994. Growth regulator and seed 
storage effects on switchgrass germination. 
Agron. J. 86:667-672. 

Zemenchik, R.A., N.C. Wollenhaupt, K.A. 
Albrecht, and A.H. Bosworth. 1996. Runoff, 
erosion, and forage production from established 
alfalfa and smooth bromegrass. Agron. J. 
88:461-466. 

Zeng, Z.H., WX. Chen, Y.G. Hu, X.H. Sui, and 
D.M. Chen. 2007. Screening of highly effective 
Sinorhizobium meliloti strains for 'Vector' alfalfa 
and testing of its competitive nodulation ability 
in the field. Pedospbere 17:219-228. 

Zhang, J., and MA. Maun. 1990. Sand burial 
effects on seed germination, seedling emergence 
and establishment of Panicum virgatum. 
Holarctic Ecol. 13:56-61. 

Zhao, Z., S.E. Williams, and G.E. Schuman. 
1997. Renodulation and characterization 
of Rhizobium isolates from cicer milkvetch 
(Astragalus cicer L.). Biol. Fertil. Soils 25: 169-174. 

Zhu, Y., C.C. Sheaffer, C.P. Vance, PH. 
Graham, M.R Russelle, and CM. 
Montealegre. 1998. Inoculation and nitrogen 
affect herbage and symbiotic properties of 
annual Medicago species. Agron. J. 90:781-786. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 




Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 

Lynn E. Sollenberger 1 , Carmen T. Agouridis 2 , Eric S. Vanzant 3 , 
Alan J. Franzluebbers 4 , and Lloyd B. Owens 5 






Authors are 'Professor, Agronomy, University of Florida; 2 Assistant Professor, Biosystems 
and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky; 3 Associate Professor, Animal and 
Food Sciences, University of Kentucky; 4 Ecologist, USDA-Agricultural 
Research Service, Raleigh, NC; and 5 Soil Scientist (retired), USDA- 
Agricultural Research Service, Coshocton, OH. 

Correspondence: Lynn E. Sollenberger, 21 85 McCarty Hall, 

PO Box 1 10500, Gainesville, FL 3261 1 

lesollen@ufl.edu 






Reference to any commercial product or service is made with the understanding 
that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by USDA is implied 




•MR^ ^l 



*$fcA! 



tfJufti^HDI 



■■H 



ft 



Sustainable grasslands 
enhance environmental 
quality and the resource 
base of the ecosystem 
while providing human 
food needs 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 




22E 



^^m 












Lynn E. Sollenberger, Carmen T. Agouridis, Eric S. Vanzant, 
Alan J. Franzluebbers, and Lloyd B. Owens 



INTRODUCTION 

Prescribed grazing is defined by the Natural 
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as 
"managing the harvest of vegetation with 
grazing and/or browsing animals" (NRCS, 
2007). The principles of grazing management 
center round the temporal and spatial 
distribution of various kinds and number of 
livestock (Heitschmidt, 1988). Within the 
context of this chapter, management of grazing 
or browsing will be characterized in terms of 
intensity, method, and season (timing), and as 
a function of the type and class of livestock and 
their distribution on the landscape. 

The choice to use a particular level of any 
of these management strategies should be 
objective driven. Objectives may include 
achieving canopy conditions and forage 
productivity that result in optimal levels of 
animal performance (Hodgson, 1990), but 
can be expanded to include the concept of 
sustainability and provision of ecosystem 
services. Sustainable grasslands enhance 
environmental quality and the resource base 
of the ecosystem while providing human food 
needs in a manner that is economically viable 
and that enhances the quality of life for both 
producers and consumers (Stewart et al., 1991). 
Achieving such a wide range of objectives 
is a challenge for those implementing and 
practicing prescribed grazing. 

The NRCS has developed conservation practice 
standards to provide guidance for applying 
conservation technology on the land and to set 
the minimum acceptable level for application of 
the technology. The Prescribed Grazing Practice 
Standard (code 528; see Appendix I) is intended 
for application to all lands where grazing or 
browsing animals are managed. An assessment 



of prescribed grazing purposes on rangeland 
has been completed (Briske et al, 201 1), so 
this chapter is focused on the same purposes for 
pastureland. The five specific purposes outlined 
in the Prescribed Grazing Practice Standard for 
pastureland and the criteria by which they were 
assessed are summarized in Table 3.1. 

The goal of this literature synthesis was to 
determine if the prescribed practices do, in fact, 
meet the purposes and criteria. Therefore, the 
assessment is organized around the five purposes 
(as main headings) or desired outcomes from 
imposing prescribed grazing "management 
strategies." Management strategies include 
grazing intensity, stocking method, timing of 
grazing (i.e., season of grazing and deferment 
from grazing), type and class of livestock, and 
livestock distribution on the landscape. 

A comprehensive search and review of the 
refereed literature was conducted for each 
management strategy to describe its effect 
on the grazing system and to determine if 
implementation of the strategy will achieve 
the short- and long-term purposes of the 
practice standard. Knowledge gaps in the 
literature were identified, and the potential 
use of management to correct undesirable 
trends or restore desired grassland condition 
was explored. The focus was U.S. literature, 
but in cases where U.S. data were unavailable 
or limited, international research and well- 
designed, nonrefereed papers were used. 

PURPOSE 1: IMPROVE OR MAINTAIN 
DESIRED SPECIES COMPOSITION AND 
VIGOR OF PLANT COMMUNITIES 

GRAZING INTENSITY 

Measures of grazing intensity are animal or 
pasture based. Stocking rate (animal units ha 1 ) 



Rotational stocking used on 
a "Florakirk" bermudagrass 
pasture in Florida. Photo by 
Lynn Sollenberger, University of 
Florida. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



TABLE 3.1. Purposes of the Prescribed Grazing Practice Standard, criteria for assessing achievement of the purposes, and a summary of 
which grazing strategies were documented in the literature to affect these criteria. 



Purposes of the practice standard 


Criteria for assessing achievement of 
the purpose 


Level of research support (in parentheses) 1 of 
prescribed grazing strategies for each criterion 


Improve or maintain desired species 
composition and vigor of plant 
communities 


■ By providing grazed plants sufficient 
recovery time to meet objectives 

■ By improving or maintaining vigor of plant 
communities, especially key species 

■ By enhancing diversity of plants and 
optimizing delivery of nutrients to animals 

■ By combining it with other pest 
management practices to promote 
community resistance to invasive weed 
species and enhance desired species 


■ Stocking method (SS); season of grazing (SS) 

• Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method (MS); 
season of grazing (MS); type and class of 
livestock (MS) 

■ Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method (WS); 
distribution of livestock (MS) 

■ Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method (MS); 
season of grazing (MS) 


Improve or maintain quantity and 
quality of forage for grazing and 
browsing animals' health and 
productivity 


■ By reducing animal stress and death from 
toxic or poisonous plants 

■ By improving and maintaining plant health 
and productivity 

■ By basing management on target levels of 
forage utilization or stubble height as a tool 
to help insure goals are met 

■ By locating of feeding, watering, and 
handling facilities to improve animal 
distribution 


■ None documented 

• Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method (MS); 
season of grazing (SS); type and class of 
livestock (MS) 

■ Grazing intensity (SS) 

■ Distribution of livestock in the landscape (MS) 


Improve or maintain surface 
and/or subsurface water quality 
and quantity, and riparian and 
watershed function 


■ By improving or maintaining riparian and 
watershed function 

■ By minimizing deposition or flow of animal 
wastes into water bodies 

■ By minimizing animal effects on stream 
bank stability 

■ By providing adequate litter, ground cover, 
and plant density to maintain or improve 
infiltration capacity of the vegetation 

■ By providing ground cover and plant 
density to maintain or improve filtering 
capacity of the vegetation 

■ By minimizing concentrated livestock 
areas, trailing and trampling to reduce soil 
compaction, excess runoff, and erosion 


• Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method (MS); 
season of grazing (SS); distribution of livestock 
(MS) 

• Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method 
(WS); season of grazing (WS); distribution of 
livestock (SS) 

• Grazing intensity (WS); stocking method 
(MS); season of grazing (MS); distribution of 
livestock (SS) 

■ Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method (MS); 
season of grazing (MS) 

■ Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method (MS); 
season of grazing (MS) 

■ Grazing intensity (SS); stocking method (MS); 
season of grazing (MS) 





is the most common animal-based measure 
of grazing intensity. Pasture- or sward-based 
measures include forage mass, canopy height, 
and canopy light interception. Forage allowance 
and grazing pressure include both a pasture 
and animal measure. These terms have been 
defined by the Forage and Grazing Terminology 
Committee (Allen et al, 201 1). 



It is suggested that the choice of grazing 
intensity is more important than any other 
single grazing management decision (Jones and 
Jones, 1997; Sollenberger and Newman, 2007) 
because of its prominent role in determining 
forage plant growth and persistence (Chacon 
and Stobbs, 1976), forage mass and allowance 
(Burns et al., 2002; Hernandez Garay et al., 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



TABLE 3.1. continued. 



Purposes of the practice standard 


Criteria for assessing achievement of 
the purpose 


Level of research support (in parentheses)' of 
prescribed grazing strategies for each criterion 


Reduce accelerated soil erosion, and 
maintain or improve soil condition 


■ By reducing accelerated soil erosion 

• By minimizing concentrated livestock areas 
to enhance nutrient distribution and improve 
ground cover 

• By improving carbon sequestration in 
biomass and soils 

• By application of soil nutrients according to 
soil test to improve or maintain plant vigor 


• Grazing intensity (MS) 

• Grazing intensity (MS); stocking method (MS) 

• Grazing intensity (MS) 

• Grazing intensity (MS) 


Improve or maintain the quantity 
and quality of food and/or cover 
available for wildlife 


• By maintaining adequate riparian 
community structure and function to sustain 
associated riparian, wetland, flood plain, 
and stream species 

• By providing for development and 
maintenance of the plant structure, density, 
and diversity needed for desired fish and 
wildlife species 

• By improving the use of the land for wildlife 
and recreation 

■ By avoiding any adverse effects on 
endangered, threatened, and candidate 
species and their habitats 


• Grazing intensity (SS); season of grazing 
(SS); distribution of livestock (MS) 

■ Grazing intensity (SS); season of grazing 
(SS); type and class of livestock (MS); 
distribution of livestock (MS) 

• Grazing intensity (SS); season of grazing 
(MS); distribution of livestock (MS) 

■ Grazing intensity (MS); season of grazing 
(MS); distribution of livestock (MS) 





'The five grazing strategies were grazing intensity, stocking method, season and deferment of grazing, type and class of livestock, and distribution of livestock in the landscape. 
SS indicates strongly supported; MS, moderately supported; and WS, weakly supported; for grazing strategies not shown there was no support in the literature that this strategy 
affected the criterion in question. 



2004a), animal performance (Humphreys, 
1991; Newman et al, 2002b), size of nutrient 
pools and fluxes between pools (Thomas, 
1992; Dubeux et al, 2006), soil chemical and 
physical characteristics (Kelly, 1985; Dubeux 
et al., 2009), water quality (Van Poollen and 
Lacey, 1979), and profitability of the grazing 
operation. Understanding the relationships of 
grazing intensity with pasture, animal, and soil 
responses is crucial for the long-term success of 
the forage-livestock enterprise (Walker, 1995). 
In this section the focus is on plant responses to 
grazing intensity. 

Forage Quantity 

A total of 67 papers contained relevant 
data, and 48 reported forage mass, forage 
accumulation, or forage allowance responses 
to grazing intensity. Treatment variables were 
primarily stocking rate or sward height. 

Forage Mass. Forage mass (kg ha 1 ) is the 
instantaneous measure of the total dry weight 
of forage per unit land area above a defined 



reference level (e.g., stubble height; Allen et al., 
201 1). Forage mass was measured in 31 of the 
48 studies in which a measure of quantity was 
taken. In 29 of 3 1 (94%) studies, forage mass 
decreased, in most cases linearly, with increasing 
grazing intensity (Fig. 3.1). For example, 
forage mass of continuously stocked limpograss 
(scientific names for species are in Appendix 
III) pastures in Florida (Newman et al., 2002b), 
"Coastal" and "Tifton 44" bermudagrass pastures 
in North Carolina (Burns and Fisher, 2008), and 
mixed black oat and annual ryegrass pastures in 
Brazil (Aguinaga et al., 2008) increased linearly 
with increasing sward height. Pre-graze forage 
mass of stargrass in rotationally stocked pastures 
in Jamaica decreased linearly as stocking rate 
increased (Hernandez Garay et al., 2004a). In 
one of the two studies in which forage mass 
was unaffected by grazing intensity, the range 
of stocking rates was low and the pastures were 
understocked (Valencia et al., 2001). 

Forage Accumulation Rate. Forage 
accumulation rate is the increase in forage mass 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 




■ Lower > Higher 
I I No difference 

■ Lower < Higher 




Mass 
(n=31) 



Allowance Accumula- Nutritive 
(n=9) tion(n=17) Value (n=41) 



FIGURE 3.1. Percent of studies showing responses to 
higher and lower grazing intensity for experiments 
that reported data based on measures of forage 
mass, forage allowance, forage accumulation, and 
forage nutritive value. Number of experiments for 
each data set is indicated in parentheses. "Higher" 
and "lower" indicate grazing intensity (i.e., higher 
or lower stocking rate). 



per unit area over a specified period of time. 
This response was measured in 17 of the 48 
studies that reported forage quantity responses 
to grazing intensity. The forage accumulation 
response was less consistent than forage mass 
(Fig. 3.1). In nearly half of the studies (47%), 
forage accumulation was favored by lower 
grazing intensity, but it was not affected by 
grazing intensity in four studies (24%) and was 
increased by increasing grazing intensity in five 
studies (28%). 

Species showing greater forage accumulation 
in response to increasing grazing intensity 
typically were ones considered to be grazing 
tolerant including tall fescue in North Carolina 
(Burns et al., 2002), perennial ryegrass-white 
clover in New Zealand (Macdonald et al., 
2008), and "Mulato" brachiariagrass in Florida 
(Inyang et al., 2010). In contrast, forage 
accumulation decreased with increased grazing 
intensity for less grazing tolerant warm-season 
forages, including stargrass in Florida and 
Jamaica (Mislevy et al, 1989; Alcordo et al., 
1991; Hernandez Garay et al., 2004a), rhizoma 
peanut in Florida (Ortega et al, 1992b), 
and bermudagrass in Florida (Pedreira et al., 
1999). Forage accumulation also decreased 
with increasing grazing intensity for temperate 
forage mixtures based on orchardgrass, 
including those with Kentucky bluegrass, 
quackgrass, red clover, alfalfa, and white clover 
in Pennsylvania (Carlassare and Karsten, 2002), 



and ladino clover in California (Hull et al., 
1961, 1965). This response is attributed to the 
upright growth habit of orchardgrass, which 
causes it to be relatively intolerant of greater 
grazing intensity (Carlassare and Karsten, 
2002). 

Species responses were not always consistent, 
as black oat-annual ryegrass (Aguinaga et al, 
2008), Kentucky bluegrass and white clover 
(Bryan and Prigge, 1994), stargrass (Adjei et al., 
1980), and bermudagrass (Roth et al., 1990) 
were part of the group for which accumulation 
did not respond to grazing intensity. Also, 
in the study with rhizoma peanut, the effect 
of grazing intensity was more pronounced 
with short than long rest periods between 
grazings showing an interaction with grazing 
frequency (Ortega et al., 1992b). These 
reports provide clear evidence that the effect 
of grazing intensity on forage accumulation 
cannot be predicted in isolation; it depends 
on forage species, grazing frequency, and the 
environment. 

Forage Allowance. Forage allowance is 
defined as the relationship between forage 
mass and animal liveweight per unit area at 
any one time (Sollenberger et al., 2005; Allen 
et al, 201 1). Forage allowance was measured 
as a response in only nine of 48 studies (Adjei 
et al, 1980; Conrad et al., 1981; Guerrero 
et al, 1984; Aiken et al., 1991; Valencia et 
al., 2001; Fike et al., 2003; Newman et al., 
2002b; Hernandez Garay et al., 2004a; Inyang 
et al., 2010) and was a treatment variable in 
one (Roth et al., 1990). Forage allowance 
decreased with increasing grazing intensity in 
eight of nine studies (89%; Fig. 3.1). The single 
exception occurred when pastures were stocked 
too lightly to distinguish treatments (Valencia 
etal, 2001). 

Decreasing forage allowance by increasing 
grazing intensity is expected due to the near 
universal observation of decreasing forage 
mass (the numerator in calculation of forage 
allowance) and increasing number of animal 
units (the denominator) with increasing 
grazing intensity. The nature of the response 
was most often curvilinear (in five of six 
studies where more than two levels of grazing 
intensity were investigated, or where the nature 
of the response was reported) with the rate 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



of change decreasing with increasing grazing 
intensity. For example, on stargrass pastures 
stocked with 200-kg bulls at 2.5, 5.0, and 
7.5 head ha" 1 the forage allowance was 7.6, 
2.7, and 1.2 kg forage kg 1 animal liveweight, 
respectively (Hernandez Garay et al., 2004a). 
This curvilinear relationship is mathematically 
consistent with linear decreases in forage mass 
as a function of increasing grazing intensity. 

Forage Nutritive Value 

Nutritive value is defined as the chemical 
composition, digestibility, and nature of 
digested products of forage (Sollenberger 
and Cherney, 1995). Forty-one of 67 grazing 
intensity papers reported nutritive value 
responses, mainly crude protein (CP), in vitro 
digestion, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), 
acid detergent fiber (ADF), and lignin. In 
a few papers, the traditional definition of 
nutritive value was broadened to include plant 
part composition and forage bulk density. 
A limitation of much of the nutritive value 
literature is that sampling strategies often fail to 
collect forage that represents the portion of the 
canopy in which the animals are grazing. 

The nutritive value response to increasing 
grazing intensity was not as consistent as the 
forage quantity response, yet nearly all studies 
(40 of 41; 98%) reported either no effect (13 of 
41; 32%) or a positive effect (27 of 41; 66%) 
on nutritive value (Fig. 3.1). Only one (2%) 
reported a negative effect (Ackerman et al., 
2001). In three of the 13 studies showing no 
effect, the authors cited the relatively narrow 
range of stocking rates imposed as a reason 
for lack of response (Valencia et al., 2001; 
Arthington et al., 2007; Scaglia et al., 2008). 

Positive effects of increasing grazing intensity 
on nutritive value occurred in West Virginia 
where Kentucky bluegrass-white clover 
pastures were continuously stocked (Bryan 
and Prigge, 1994), in an orchardgrass-ladino 
clover association in California that was 
rotationally stocked (Hull et al, 1965), with 
alfalfa in Michigan (Schlegel et al., 2000a), 
and with a perennial ryegrass-white clover 
mixture in New Zealand (Macdonald et 
al., 2008). For C 4 grasses, in vitro digestion 
increased with increasing stocking rate for both 
Coastal and "Callie" bermudagrass pastures in 
Texas (Guerrero et al., 1984), for "Tanzania" 



guineagrass in Brazil (do Canto et al, 2008), 
and for digitgrass in tropical Australia (Jones 
and LeFeuvre, 2006). 

The increase in forage nutritive value 
with greater grazing intensity may seem 
counterintuitive because there is less forage 
mass and grazing occurs at lower strata in the 
canopy. Nutritive value generally decreases 
from top to bottom of a canopy, particularly 
for C 4 grasses (Fisher et al., 1991; Holderbaum 
et al, 1992). However, when canopies are 
grazed intensively over an extended period of 
time the leaf proportion of the forage mass is 
greater and age of regrowth is younger because 
of shorter intervals between animal visits to 
individual patches (Roth et al., 1990; Pedreira 
et al, 1999; Newman et al., 2002a, 2002b; 
Hernandez Garay et al., 2004a; Dubeux et al, 
2006). 

The positive response of forage nutritive value 
to increasing grazing intensity may result 
in limited measureable effects on animal 
performance because of the associated decrease 
in forage quantity. For example, digitgrass 
nutritive value increased with increasing 
stocking rate in Australia (Jones and Lefeuvre, 
2006), but nutritive value was negatively 
correlated with cattle average daily gain. In the 
same study, the relationship of forage mass and 
daily gain was positive (Jones and Lefeuvre, 
2006). Other studies have shown that the 
greater nutritive value associated with higher 
grazing intensity cannot overcome a quantity 
limitation (McCartor and Rouquette, 1977; 
Guerrero et al., 1984; Hernandez Garay et al., 
2004a). 

In a comprehensive review of the grazing 
literature, forage nutritive value was found to 




Grazing tolerant "Alfagraze" 
(left] and intolerant "Apollo" 
(right) alfalfa stands follow- 
ing 3 yr of frequent, intense 
grazing. Photo by Joe Bouton, 
University of Georgia and 
Noble Foundation. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 




Grazed pastures generally 
have greater species richness 
than areas that are not grazed. 
Photo by Carmen Agouridis, 
University of Kentucky. 



1) set the upper limit for average daily gain, 

2) determine the slope of the regression of 
daily gain on stocking rate, and 3) establish 
the forage mass at which daily gain plateaus 
(Sollenberger and Vanzant, 201 1). In contrast, 
forage quantity determined the proportion of 
potential daily gain that was achieved and was 
the primary driver for direction of the daily 
gain response (negative) to increasing stocking 
rate. Thus, choosing which grazing intensity to 
use must account for the overriding importance 
of forage mass and forage allowance in affecting 
animal response. 

Forage Botanical Composition and 
Species Persistence 

Grazing intensity affects pasture productivity 
and nutritive value and may impact species 
composition of the sward and persistence of 
desired species. Twenty-nine of the 67 grazing 
intensity papers reviewed described botanical 
composition or persistence-related responses 



to grazing intensity. In most cases grazing 
intensity interacted strongly with other factors, 
which are explored in this section. 

Grazing Intensity by Frequency Interaction. 

The importance of grazing intensity by 
frequency interaction in sward persistence is 
well established (Sollenberger and Newman, 
2007). For example, sainfoin survival was not 
affected by stubble height when defoliated 
at seed-shatter stage, but if defoliated more 
frequently, at bud or flower stage, and grazed to 
a low stubble height (5 cm), stands were greatly 
reduced (Mowrey and Matches, 1991). 

Weed invasion into rotationally stocked, mixed 
pastures of the legume Siratro and the grass 
setaria was greater and legume contribution 
less when pastures were grazed every 3 wk 
than every 6 or 9 wk at a range of stocking 
rates (Jones, 1979). Longer regrowth intervals 
lessened the impact of high stocking rate on 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



the legume. In Florida a rhizoma peanut- 
common bermudagrass mixture (90% peanut 
at initiation) was stocked rotationally to leave 
a range of residual forage mass (Ortega et al., 
1992a, 1992b). Peanut percentage in the stand 
after 2 yr was lower with short rest periods, 
especially when residual forage mass was low, 
but legume persistence was better with a 42-d 
rest period. Changes in rhizome mass also 
reflected the intensity by frequency interaction. 

Grazing Intensity by Cultivar Interaction. 

Several papers highlight the interaction 
between cultivar and grazing intensity on 
persistence. "Alfagraze" and "Apollo" alfalfa 
were stocked continuously at three levels of 
forage mass in central Georgia (Bates et al., 
1996). After 3 yr of grazing, Alfagraze had 
59 plants rrr 2 for both the greatest and least 
forage mass, while less grazing-tolerant Apollo 
maintained 36 plants at the greatest mass but 
only 16 plants nr 2 at the lowest forage mass. 

In Florida, at high stocking rate, "Bigalta" 
limpograss was rapidly invaded by common 
bermudagrass while "Floralta" persisted at both 
stocking rates (Pitman et al., 1994). Stubble 
height had varying effects on persistence of 
three stargrasses in Florida (Mislevy et al., 
1989). Weeds contributed less than 10% of 
forage mass if stubble height was 1 5 cm or 
greater for all three cultivars tested, but if 
stubble height was < 1 5 cm, weed percentage 
was 12 to 25% for "Florico" but averaged 6% 
for "Florona" and "Ona." These data show 
that prescribed grazing intensity is a function 
of forage species and also dependent to a large 
degree on the cultivar. 

Multispecies Pastures. When multiple forage 
species are present, the complexity of selecting 
the optimal grazing intensity increases, 
particularly when growth characteristics of 
the species vary widely. For example, when 
limpograss-dominated grass pastures in 
Florida were stocked continuously to a range 
of canopy heights, the bunchgrass weed 
vaseygrass was essentially removed by grazing 
to 20 cm (Newman et al., 2003). In contrast, 
percentage of the stoloniferous weed common 
bermudagrass increased markedly with the 20- 
cm height, but remained low when a 40-cm 
height was maintained. 



In grass-legume pastures, legumes often are 
considered to be less persistent under high 
stocking rates than grasses; however, the species 
present in the sward has a major effect on the 
response. Mixtures of the stoloniferous creeping 
signalgrass, with either ovalifolium or tropical 
kudzu, were continuously stocked with 2 or 
3 steers ha" 1 (Cantarutti et al., 2002). Average 
legume percentage was 30 and 10 for the low 
and high stocking rates, respectively. Higher 
stocking rate favored the aggressive, relatively 
decumbent grass. 

The opposite was observed when a 
palisadegrass-pinto peanut pasture in Costa 
Rica was stocked continuously at 600 and 
1200 kg liveweight ha" 1 (Hernandez et al., 
1995). During 3 yr of grazing, pinto peanut 
contributed 34% of dry matter on offer at the 
high but only 6% at the low stocking rate. 
This was due to its prostrate, stoloniferous 
growth habit that conveyed greater tolerance of 
high stocking rates than the upright-growing 
palisadegrass. 

In California the percentage of white clover 
increased as stocking rate increased reflecting 
greater tolerance of close grazing than 
orchardgrass. Similarly, the greatest percentage 
of white clover in a mixed pasture in Ireland 
occurred at the highest stocking rate (Conway, 
1968). In Pennsylvania, when a complex 
mixture was stocked rotationally for 2 yr with 
grazing initiation/termination at heights of 
20/5 cm or 27/7 cm, forage accumulation of 
red clover, alfalfa, and orchardgrass was greater 
for tall than short pastures whereas Kentucky 
bluegrass accumulation was greater for short 
than tall (Carlassare and Karsten, 2002). This 
can be attributed, in part, to tillering response 
to stocking rate; greater stocking rate decreased 
tiller density for upright-growing orchardgrass 
and increased tiller density for prostrate- 
growing Kentucky bluegrass (Fales et al, 1995). 

Plant Adaptations to Grazing Intensity. Each 
plant within a population has some ability to 
adapt to stress by changing its morphology, an 
attribute termed phenotypic plasticity (Nelson, 
2000). Phenotypic plasticity is reversible and 
includes changes in size, structure, and spatial 
positioning of organs (Huber et al., 1999) such 
that optimization of canopy leaf area at lower 
defoliation height may be achieved through 



u 



When multiple 

forage species 

are present, 

the complexity 

of selecting 

the optimal 

grazing intensity 

increases 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



...conservation 
planning activities 
should prioritize 
prescription of 
the appropriate 
stocking rate or 
sward height. 



a decrease in mean tiller size and an increase 
in tiller density (Matthew et al., 2000). For 
example, tiller density of Caucasian bluestem 
was more than double at a high than a low 
grazing intensity while tiller mass was 10 times 
greater for low than for high grazing intensity 
(Christiansen and Svejcar, 1988). Phenotypic 
plasticity has limits, and if defoliation is too 
severe, the leaf area, substrate supply and tiller 
production decrease, which in turn reduces 
tiller survival and weakens the stand (Matthew 
etal., 2000). 

Phenotypic plasticity varies among species 
(Gibson et al., 1992) and can be related to 
grazing tolerance. When two C 4 bunchgrasses 
were defoliated frequently and severely, 
buffelgrass produced more horizontal tillers 
and achieved a 10-fold greater leaf area below 
defoliation height than did red oatgrass, 
which retained its upright tillering orientation 
(Hodgkinson et al., 1989). Thus, phenotypic 
plasticity of buffelgrass contributed to its 
greater grazing tolerance than red oatgrass. 

Below-ground responses also impact plant 
persistence. Root length and root mass of 
Caucasian bluestem pastures were about 30% 
less after 1 yr and 45% less after 2 yr for high 
versus low grazing intensity (Christiansen and 
Svejcar, 1988). Root-rhizome mass of rhizoma 
peanut was 80% less and ground cover was 
38% less after 4 yr of defoliation to 2.5 cm 
compared with 10 cm (Mislevy et al., 2007). 
Root mass of stargrass was reduced 3 to 10 
times by stubble height of 5 cm vs. 15 cm, and 
stem base carbohydrate reserves were reduced 
by 15 to 22 g kg" 1 (Alcordo et al., 1991). In 
Texas root carbohydrate reserves of sanfoin 
were lower following high vs. medium or low 
grazing intensity (Mowrey and Matches, 1991). 

Species Richness Response to Grazing 
Intensity. There is limited information in the 
U.S. literature on this subject. In Israel species 
richness of annual legumes was lowest in 
non-grazed sites and increased gradually with 
increasing grazing intensity; however, extremely 
high grazing intensity reduced mean legume 
richness (Noy-Meir and Kaplan, 2002). The 
24 species with a positive response to grazing 
intensity had low, decumbent, or prostrate 
growth habits. Intermediate response species 
were more upright types, but the most negative 



effect of grazing intensity was associated with 
twining species. Greater species richness of 
grazed vs. non-grazed pastureland was also 
reported in several studies in Iowa (Barker et 
al., 2002; Guretzky et al., 2004, 2005, 2007). 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Grazing Intensity 

Review of the grazing intensity literature 
affirms its often-stated characterization as the 
most important grazing management decision 
for pastureland. Because of the major effect 
of grazing intensity on productivity, nutritive 
value, botanical composition, and persistence 
of pasturelands, conservation planning 
activities should prioritize prescription of the 
appropriate stocking rate or sward height. If 
conservation planning fails to identify, achieve, 
and maintain the proper grazing intensity, then 
choice of stocking method, season of grazing 
and deferment, or any other grazing strategy 
will not be able to overcome this failure. 

Several shortcomings were identified in 
the grazing intensity literature. A major 
shortcoming is inconsistency in forage 
terminology. Pastureland scientists and 
advisers should adopt a standard terminology, 
preferably based on that already developed 
by the Forage and Grazing Terminology 
Committee (Allen et al., 201 1). Forage mass, 
forage accumulation, and forage allowance are 
preferred terms. Others such as yield and forage 
available are vague, confusing, and ill-advised 
for reporting quantity measures on pastureland. 
The term forage quality is widely misused and 
should be reserved for measures of animal 
performance or intake. The term nutritive value 
is correctly used when chemical composition 
and digestibility of the plant tissue have been 
quantified. 

A recurring methodological weakness in the 
nutritive value literature is that sampling 
procedures may not effectively represent the 
portion of the sward canopy the animals 
are grazing. Thus, estimates of diet nutritive 
value may be flawed, and in some cases the 
comparisons among treatments biased. 

Most literature reports on botanical 
composition and persistence are 2-yr studies, 
which for many species and environments 
is insufficient to develop or even predict the 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



long-term balance of species composition and 
expression of phenotypic plasticity in response 
to the grazing management. Although short 
grant funding cycles, limited length of graduate 
student research projects, and high costs of 
grazing research are contributors, they cannot 
be excuses. Short-term studies contribute to 
inadequate and often misleading knowledge 
that may not represent long-term botanical 
composition and persistence responses. 

STOCKING METHOD 

Stocking method is "a defined procedure or 
technique to manipulate animals in space and 
time to achieve a specific objective" (Allen 
et al., 201 1). It is important to distinguish 
stocking method from grazing system because 
they are often used interchangeably despite 
having different meanings. Grazing system is "a 
defined, integrated combination of soil, plant, 
animal, social and economic features, stocking 
method (s) and management objectives designed 
to achieve specific results or goals" (Allen et al, 
201 1). As defined, stocking method is but one 
component of the overarching grazing system. 

For this assessment, stocking method refers to 
the manner in which animals are stocked or 
have access to pastures and paddocks (pasture 
subdivisions, if present) during the grazing 
season. Choice of stocking method is separate 
from grazing intensity; a particular stocking 
method may include a wide range of grazing 
intensities that are based on stocking rates or 
forage height or mass. Many stocking methods 
have been described (Vallentine, 2001; Allen et 
al., 2011), but each is derived from continuous 
or some form of rotational stocking. Under 
continuous stocking, animals have unlimited 
and uninterrupted access to the grazing area 
throughout the period when grazing is allowed 
(Allen et al., 201 1). Rotational stocking utilizes 
recurring periods of grazing and rest among 
paddocks in a grazing management unit. Often 
the objective of rotational stocking is to achieve 
efficient and more uniform defoliation of the 
pasture and to optimize pasture productivity 
and persistence. 

Plant-related advantages of rotational 
over continuous stocking purportedly 
include increased pasture carrying capacity, 
improved plant persistence (Matches and 
Burns, 1995), and more uniform use of an 



extensive pasture area (Hart et al., 1993). 
Whether these advantages are supported by 
the scientific literature has been a topic of 
much debate and has generated considerable 
disagreement among scientists and graziers. 
For example, Bransby (1991) stated "few 
topics in agriculture have been addressed 
with such charismatic language and such 
abandonment of scientific evidence and logic" 
as have discussions regarding rotational and 
continuous stocking. 

Data from 57 papers were used to determine 
the effect of stocking method on measures 
of forage quantity, nutritive value, botanical 
composition, and persistence. Achieving 
meaningful comparisons of plant responses 
under continuous and rotational stocking is 
complex. Sampling methods used to quantify 
these responses vary widely in the literature, 
and in some cases the sampling method 
may provide biased comparisons of stocking 
methods. 

Forage Quantity 

Many reports suggest rotational stocking 
allows greater average stocking rates 
(i.e., carrying capacity) than continuous 
stocking (Blaser et al., 1986), inferring that 
rotationally stocked pastures have greater 
forage accumulation rate and/or more efficient 
utilization of existing forage mass than 
continuously stocked pastures. Unfortunately, 
few stocking method studies have measured 



u 



Whether these 

advantages are 

supported by the 

scientific literature 

has been a topic 

of much debate 



Cattle use their tongue to select 
and gather leaf of the woody 
legume leucaena before biting. 
Photo by Lynn Sollenberger, 
University of Florida. 




CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



Greater average 
stocking rate 
for rotationally 
vs. continuously 
stocked pastures 
was reported on 
bermudagrass 
(and several other 
species)." 



these independent responses, so in most cases 
indirect measures of pasture productivity, 
e.g., average stocking rate or animal days 
of grazing, are the only quantity-related 
responses available for making comparisons 
among methods. 

There were 27 papers reviewed that included 
both rotational and continuous stocking 
treatments and reported responses related 
to quantity of forage. Of these, 23 (85%) 
reported an advantage in forage quantity 
response for rotationally vs. continuously 
stocked pastures. From the 23 studies 
cited that showed greater forage quantity- 
related responses on rotationally than 
continuously stocked pastures, 16 were 
described sufficiently that the magnitude of 
the difference could be determined (Table 
3.2). For these, the advantage for rotational 
stocking ranged from 9% to 68%, with an 
average of 30%. 

Indirect Measures of Forage Quantity. 

Average stocking rate is the most common 
indirect measure of forage quantity. Greater 
average stocking rate for rotationally vs. 
continuously stocked pastures was reported 
on bermudagrass in Florida (Mathews et al, 
1994b), wheat-annual ryegrass in Arkansas 
(Aiken, 1998), alfalfa-grass mixtures in Illinois 
(Bertelsen et al., 1993), orchardgrass-legume 
mixtures in Virginia (Bryant et al., 1961), 
"Plains" old world bluestem in Oklahoma 
(Volesky et al., 1994), switchgrass and big 
bluestem in Iowa (George et al., 1996), 
orchardgrass-perennial ryegrass-tall fescue- 
white clover mixtures in California (Hull et al., 
1967), and bermudagrass in Arkansas (Tharel, 
1989). Plains old world bluestem pastures 
in Oklahoma had a 34% higher stocking 
rate using frontal stocking (cattle move a 
sliding fence to access new forage, a back 
fence restricts regrazing) than for continuous 
stocking (Volesky, 1994). He suggested frontal 
stocking increases tillering, keeps the canopy 
near optimum leaf area index (LAI), provides a 
greater proportion of young tissue, and removes 
more old tissue. 

Forage Mass, Accumulation Rate, and 
Canopy Photosynthesis. Greater forage 
mass was reported on rotationally than on 
continuously stocked bermudagrass-tall fescue 



pastures in Georgia (Hoveland et al, 1997). 
In Florida average forage accumulation rate 
of "Pensacola" bahiagrass over three growing 
seasons was greater for rotationally than 
continuously stocked pastures (Stewart et al, 
2005). With phalaris-subterranean clover 
mixtures in Australia, rotational stocking 
supported greater forage accumulation and 
stocking rates of ewes than did continuous 
stocking (Chapman et al, 2003). 

Canopy photosynthesis of perennial ryegrass 
in the United Kingdom was greater in 
continuously stocked swards (LAI = 1) 
immediately following defoliation of the 
rotationally stocked treatment (to LAI of 0.5), 
but this soon reversed because percentage 
of young leaves increased more rapidly in 
rotational swards (Parsons et al., 1988). 
These authors found that long-term rates of 
canopy photosynthesis of rotationally stocked 
perennial ryegrass pastures exceeded those 
of continuously stocked pastures even when 
defoliation was severe and regrowth periods 
were relatively short. 

Efficiency of Utilization of Forage Mass. 
Greater forage quantity-related responses 
in rotationally than continuously stocked 
pastures may be due to greater efficiency of 
utilization of forage mass. Norton (2003) 
hypothesized that livestock are more evenly 
distributed and encounter more forage 
in smaller paddocks or at higher stocking 
densities, like those used with rotational 
stocking. This was supported by a Utah 
study of mixed-grass pastures using the 
same stocking rate, but different paddock 
sizes (Barnes et al., 2008). In most cases, 
paddocks < 4 ha were grazed more evenly 
than larger paddocks and had a lower 
proportion of nonutilized area. Similarly, 
Heitschmidt (1988) concluded, "Because 
intensively managed rotational type grazing 
systems facilitate livestock distribution by 
increasing livestock density, spatial variation 
in grazing pressure index is reduced. This is 
turn improves the efficiency of harvest of all 
forage that is available within a given unit or 
pasture." 

Rotational stocking generally increases 
utilization by 5% to 15% over continuous 
stocking on small pastures in research 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



TABLE 3.2. Proportional advantage of rotational (R) vs. continuous (C) stocking for quantity-related responses. 



Reference 


Species 


Location 


Treatments 


Response compared 


Advantage of rotational vs. 
continuous 


Aiken, 1998 


Wheat-ryegrass 


Booneville, 
AR 


C vs. 3 and 
1 1 -paddock R 


Average stocking rate 


34% (2190 [R] vs. 1640[C] 
kg liveweight ha -1 ) 

42%; (4.31 [R] vs. 3.03 [C] 
heifers ha -1 


Bertelsen et al., 
1993 


Alfalfa 


Baylis, IL 


C vs. 6 and 
1 1 -paddock R 


Average stocking rate 


Bryant et al., 
1961 


Temperate grass- 
legume mixtures 


Blacksburg, 
VA 

Victoria, 
Australia 


C vs. 

1 0-paddock R 


Average stocking rate 
Average stocking rate 


30, 19, and 22% (avg. of 
24%) for 3 mixtures 

9%; supported higher SR (14.9 
vs. 1 3.7 ewes ha -1 ) 


Chapman et al., 
2003 


Phalaris-sub clover 


C vs. 4-paddock 
R 


Davis and Pratt, 
1956 


Alfalfa-white clover- 
bromegrass 


Wooster, 
OH 

Eatonton, 
GA 


C vs. 6-paddock 
R 

C vs. 

1 2-paddock R 


Total digestible 
nutrients ha -1 

Hay fed and avg. 
stocking rate 


42% (3240 vs. 2280 kg TDN 
ha-') 

31% less hay and 38% greater 
stocking rate 


Hoveland et al., 
1997 


Common 

bermudagrass-tall 

fescue 


Hull etal., 1967 


Temperate grass- 
legume mixture 


Davis, CA 


C vs. 6-paddock 
R 


Seasonal carrying 
capacity 


1 7% on average across 
treatments (1 1 37 vs. 967 
animal days ha -1 ) 

1 6%; average SR of R was 
3525 vs. 3035 kg liveweight 
ha -1 d" 1 for C in 2 yr 


Mathews et al., 
1994b 


Bermudagrass 


Gainesville, 
FL 


C vs. 

1 5-paddock R 


Seasonal carrying 
capacity 


Popp et al., 
1997b 


Alfalfa-meadow 
bromegrass 


Manitoba, 
CN 

Gainesville, 
FL 


C vs. 

1 0-paddock R 

C vs. 4 different 
R treatments 


Seasonal carrying 
capacity (steer days 
ha" 1 ) 

Herbage 
accumulation rate 


1 0%; 2 1 3 vs 1 93 steer days 
ha -1 (4-yr avg.) 

68%; 69 vs. 41 kg ha" 1 d~' 


Stewart et al., 
2005 


Bahiagrass 


Tharel, 1989 


Bermudagrass 


Arkansas 

El Reno, 
OK 


C vs. R 


Seasonal carrying 
capacity 


34%: grazing days was 1 150 
ha" 1 for R vs. 860 for C 

34% 


Volesky, 1994 


Old world bluestem 


C vs. frontal R 


Seasonal carrying 
capacity (stocking 
rate) 


Volesky et al., 
1994 


Old world bluestem 


El Reno, C vs. 2-paddock 
OK R and frontal R 


Seasonal carrying 
capacity (steer days) 


24%; 540 for frontal vs. 436 
steer days ha -1 for C 

Range 9-68%; average 30% 


Overall 





studies, but improved utilization from use of 
rotational stocking may be greater in 50- to 
100-ha pastures that are common on farms 
(Saul and Chapman, 2002). Teague and 
Dowhower (2003), from a Texas rangeland 
perspective, state that patch-selective grazing 
means that the effective stocking rate is 
much greater than intended on heavily used 
patches, resulting in deterioration in these 
patches. They suggest that the effect may be 
more pronounced on larger, heterogeneous 
areas but indicate that most research has 
been conducted on small, homogeneous 
experimental units. 



The concepts of potentially greater forage 
accumulation and improved utilization of 
forage mass under rotational stocking were 
integrated by Saul and Chapman (2002), who 
suggested the greater homogeneity of utilization 
of rotationally stocked pastures is partially 
responsible for greater forage accumulation. 
They reasoned that amount of post-grazing 
residual mass and length of regrowth interval 
are affected by both stocking methods. In 
continuous stocking, they are affected at the 
individual bite scale and are largely under the 
control of the animal, but in rotational they 
are affected at the paddock scale and are under 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



Rotational 
stocking generally 
allows manager 
control over 
postg razing 
residual and, 
particularly, 
regrowth interval 



the control of the manager. Rotational stocking 
generally allows manager control over post- 
grazing residual and, particularly, regrowth 
interval, whereas continuous stocking does not, 
beyond what can be achieved through adjusting 
stocking rate. 

An extreme example is the patch-grazing 
phenomenon commonly seen in continuously 
stocked pastures. The post-grazing residual is 
too short and regrowth interval inadequate 
in the heavily grazed patches. Rotational 
stocking allows better control over at least 
one of the critical variables, the length of the 
regrowth period. Even if the pasture is grazed 
below the optimum height or mass, it can be 
allowed time to recover and move into what 
the authors term Phase II of plant growth (Fig. 
3.2). This difference leads to the conclusion 
that, especially at high stocking rates or during 
times of feed deficit, rotational stocking should 
lead to better control of average leaf area, faster 
growth rates, and greater forage accumulation. 

Number of Paddocks per Pasture. Eleven 
papers reviewed studied the effect of length of 
stocking period within one cycle of rotational 
stocking (i.e., a function of number of 
paddocks) on forage accumulation or average 
stocking rate. The literature is not consistent, as 
five of 1 1 papers reported advantages in forage 
quantity by increasing number of paddocks and 
decreasing the duration of the grazing period, 



CD 

to 

-Q 

i— 
CD 
X 



Phase 1 


Phase II 


Phase III 





Time of Regrowth 

FIGURE 3.2. Accumulation of forage mass during 
a regrowth period follows a sigmoid curve as the 
canopy develops from low mass (Phase 1 : low 
accumulation rate) to intermediate mass (Phase 2: 
high accumulation rate) to high mass (Phase 3: little 
or no net accumulation due to balance between 
new growth and senescence). Adapted from Saul 
and Chapman (2002). 



five reported no effect, and one reported a 
disadvantage of greater paddock number. Four 
of the five studies reporting no effect used 
a fixed stocking rate, with forage mass the 
measure of production. There was no common 
thread in forage species among studies as they 
included alfalfa (Schlegel et al., 2000b), cool- 
season forage mixtures (Bertelsen et al., 1993; 
Phillip et al., 2001), bahiagrass (Stewart et al, 
2005), and bermudagrass (Aiken, 1998). 

Studies showing a quantity advantage for 
rotational stocking with a greater versus a 
smaller number of paddocks used a variable 
stocking rate approach and equalized post- 
graze forage mass or stubble height. The 
average advantage in stocking rate or animal 
days of grazing ha" 1 was 28% for pastures with 
a greater number of paddocks and represented 
a wide range of forage species including 
orchardgrass (33% advantage; Holmes et al., 
1952), bermudagrass (18%; Mathews et al., 
1994b), a complex cool-season mixture (26%; 
Kuusela and Khalili, 2002), and old world 
bluestem (34%; Volesky, 1994; Volesky et 
al., 1994). The small number of studies from 
which the average advantage was derived 
suggests that conclusions should be drawn 
cautiously until additional research has been 
conducted. 

Forage Nutritive Value 

Forage nutritive value may be greater on 
continuously than rotationally stocked 
pastures if forage quantity is not limiting at 
that stocking rate (Sollenberger and Newman, 
2007). The increase is associated with greater 
opportunity for selection and the tendency of 
animals to make frequent visits to the same 
grazing stations, resulting in consumption of 
less mature forage (Vallentine, 2001). 

The literature comparing forage nutritive value 
responses of continuously and rotationally 
stocked pastures is difficult to interpret, in 
part because of inadequate experimental 
methodology. Many reports fail to account 
for the large differences in nutritive value that 
occur during the course of a grazing period in 
rotationally stocked pastures. Samples from 
continuously stocked pastures have been 
compared with those from rotationally stocked 
pastures taken at a single point in time, most 
often at the beginning of a grazing period. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



TABLE 3.3. Chemical composition of forage and extrusa from rotationally (6 and 1 1 paddocks per pasture) 
and continuously stocked pastures. Rotationally stocked pastures were sampled pre- and post-graze, and 
extrusa was collected at the beginning and end of grazing periods. Continuously stocked pastures were 
sampled on the same dates as rotational treatments. Data are adapted from Bertelsen et al. (1993). ' 







Pasture samples 


Extrusa samples 


Chemical 
constituent 


Stocking method 


Pre-graze Post-graze 


Beginning End 


gkg- 1 


NDF 


Continuous 


680 a 692 a 


584 a 571 b 




6-paddock 


577 b 668 a 


453 b 641 a 




1 1 -paddock 


581 b 687 a 


380 c 656 a 




SE 


16 10 


19 19 


ADF 


Continuous 


427 a 437 a 


348 a 330 b 




6-paddock 


358 b 427 a 


282 b 402 a 




1 1 -paddock 


366 b 426 a 


259 b 409 a 


ADL 


SE 
Continuous 


12 6 


9 9 


72.6 a 77.2 a 


57.5 a 53.2 b 




6-paddock 


61.3 b 79.3 a 


44.7 b 77.1 a 




1 1 -paddock 


61.3 b 78.1 a 


42.5 b 71.2 a 




SE 


2.6 3.4 


3.1 3.1 


CP 


Continuous 


122 b 110 a 


187 b 183 a 




6-paddock 


152 a 117 a 


219a 140b 




1 1 -paddock 


166a 121 a 


238 a 128 b 




SE 


8.0 4.0 


8.0 8.0 



'Means within a chemical constituent and column are not different if followed by the same letter. SE indicates standard error. 



In addition, sampling strategies used on 
continuously stocked pastures often result in 
collection of forage that does not represent the 
portion of the canopy from which the animal is 
selecting. 

Data from Bertelsen et al. (1993) showed how 
sampling approach can affect the conclusions 
drawn. In their Illinois study, an alfalfa (50%)- 
tall fescue (40%)-orchardgrass (10%) mixture 
was stocked continuously or rotationally, the 
latter including 6- and 1 1 -paddock treatments. 
All treatments were grazed using a variable 
stocking rate to maintain a stubble height 
(post-graze for rotational) of 8 cm to 15 cm. 
Pasture samples to measure nutritive value were 
clipped to a 5-cm height pre-graze and post- 
graze on rotational treatments, and continuous 
pastures were sampled at comparable times in 
the same manner. In addition, extrusa samples 
were taken by reticulorumen evacuation at 
times similar to those of the pasture samples, 
and apparent total tract digestion was 
measured. 



If pre-graze pasture samples or extrusa samples 
taken at the beginning of the stocking period 
were used to compare treatments, the nutritive 
value for the two rotational treatments 
generally was not different, but both were lower 
in NDF, ADF, and lignin, and higher in CP 
than the continuous treatment (Table 3.3). 
Based on post-graze pasture samples, there was 
no difference among treatments, but based 
on end-of-stocking-period extrusa samples, 
continuous had greater nutritive value than 
rotational (Table 3.3). Total tract digestibility 
of OM, NDF, ADF, and CP were not different 
among treatments. Thus, depending on the 
type of sample chosen for comparison, all 
possible conclusions can be drawn from the 
same study, i.e., that continuous is greater 
than rotational, that rotational is greater than 
continuous, or that there is no difference. 

Rotational vs. Continuous Stocking. 

Fourteen papers were reviewed that compared 
nutritive value of continuously and rotationally 
stocked pastures, but only four papers reported 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



Purported 
advantages 
of rotational 
vs. continuous 
stocking 
include superior 
persistence of 
grazing-sensitive 
forage species." 



sampling of the grazed portion of the canopy 
(by hand-plucking or use of fistulated cattle; 
especially relevant for continuous stocking) 
and sampled in such a way as to address the 
changes that occur during the stocking period 
on a paddock of a rotationally stocked pasture. 
No difference in nutritive value was found 
between rotational and continuous stocking of 
an alfalfa-tall fescue-orchardgrass mixture in 
Illinois (Bertelsen et al., 1993), bermudagrass 
in Florida (Mathews et al., 1994b), bahiagrass 
in Florida (Stewart et al, 2005), and crested 
wheatgrass in Utah (Olson and Malechek, 
1988). 

Of the other 10 papers where concerns about 
sampling method exist, six found no difference 
between stocking methods, three reported that 
rotational resulted in greater forage nutritive 
value than continuous, and one indicated that 
there were interactions of season with method 
of grazing. Thus, the effect of continuous vs. 
rotational stocking methods on forage nutritive 
value remains inconclusive. Given the issues 
related to pasture sampling, at present we must 
defer to measures of animal performance to 
assess this response to stocking method. This 
information is summarized later in the chapter. 

Number of Paddocks per Pasture. Of the 

eight relevant studies, six (75%) found no 
difference in forage nutritive value due to 
number of paddocks, i.e., length of stocking 
periods. These included an alfalfa-tall fescue- 
orchardgrass mixture (6 vs. 1 1 paddocks; 
Bertelsen et al., 1993), bermudagrass (3 
vs. 15 paddocks; Mathews et al., 1994b), 
bermudagrass (3 vs. 1 1 paddocks; Aiken, 
1998), alfalfa (4 vs. 13 paddocks; Schlegel 
et al., 2000a), cool-season grasses (6 vs. 16 
paddocks; Phillip et al, 2001), and bahiagrass 
(2, 4, 8, and 22 paddocks; Stewart et al., 2005). 
Two studies found differences due to number 
of paddocks, but one favored more paddocks 
(Kuusela and Khalili, 2002) and one favored 
fewer paddocks (Aiken, 1998). 

Forage Botanical Composition and 
Species Persistence 

Purported advantages of rotational vs. 
continuous stocking include superior 
persistence of grazing-sensitive forage species 
(Van Keuren and Matches, 1988). For 
example, after 3 yr of grazing alfalfa-white 



clover— smooth bromegrass in Ohio, excellent 
alfalfa stands remained on rotationally stocked 
pastures, but on continuously stocked pastures 
bromegrass increased and alfalfa decreased 
(Davis and Pratt, 1956). There were 15 
papers that addressed this issue, but the body 
of literature suggests that although stocking 
method plays a role in botanical composition 
and plant persistence, numerous factors 
contribute to the responses. Interacting factors 
include grazing intensity, morphology/growth 
habit of the grazed forage, cultivars within 
forage species, and the opportunity for diet 
selection. 

Grazing Intensity and Stocking Method 
Interactions. Pastures of rhizoma peanut in 
Florida grazed for 2 yr to a post-graze residual 
forage mass of 500 kg ha" 1 had less than 
25% peanut in forage mass when grazing 
frequency was 7 d (simulated continuous 
stocking) and 55% when grazed every 49 
d (rotational) . If post-graze residual forage 
mass was 1500 kg ha" 1 , stocking method had 
less effect; percentage peanut was 70% and 
85% for simulated continuous and rotational 
treatments, respectively. Alfalfa-meadow 
bromegrass pastures were continuously 
stocked in Manitoba, Canada (Popp et al., 
1997a). Alfalfa percentage was greater for high 
than low stocking rates during 4 yr because 
high stocking rates had a negative impact on 
the grass. In contrast, when pastures were 
rotationally stocked, there was no consistent 
effect of stocking rate on alfalfa percentage. 

Plant Morphology and Stocking Method 
Interactions. In Virginia legume percentage 
by weight was higher with rotational vs. 
continuous stocking for alfalfa-orchardgrass 
and white clover-orchardgrass mixtures, but 
the increase was much greater for alfalfa than 
for white clover (Bryant et al., 1961). The 
stoloniferous white clover was likely more 
tolerant of continuous stocking, and it may 
have been at a competitive disadvantage for 
light during a greater portion of the season 
under rotational stocking. Legumes are not 
always favored by rotational stocking. In 
a phalaris-subclover mixture in temperate 
Australia, rotational stocking favored forage 
accumulation of the taller-growing grass, but 
reduced yields of the low-growing legume 
compared with continuous stocking (Chapman 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



et al., 2003). Subclover was favored by 
continuous stocking in part because of a better 
light environment for seedling recruitment. 
Callie bermudagrass pastures in Florida were 
stocked continuously and rotationally and after 

2 yr the stand averaged 85% Callie for both 
rotational treatments compared with 62% for 
continuous stocking (Mathews et al., 1994b). 
Continuous stocking provided a more favorable 
light environment than rotational allowing low- 
growing, less desirable common bermudagrass 
and bahiagrass to persist. 

Cultivar by Stocking Method Interactions. 
In Florida, when stocked continuously for 

3 yr, upright-growing "Arbrook" rhizoma 
peanut decreased in percentage of forage 
mass from 89% to 66% compared with a 
decrease from 90% only to 87% for lower- 
growing "Florigraze" (Hernandez Garay et 
al., 2004b). Common bermudagrass was 
overseeded with endophyte-free (Hoveland 
et al., 1997) or with endophyte-infected tall 
fescue in Georgia (Kuykendall et al., 1999b). 
After 3 yr of grazing, common bermudagrass 
had 14% more basal cover for continuous 
than rotational stocking when associated 
with endophyte-free fescue. In contrast, 
when associated with endophyte-infected tall 
fescue, common bermudagrass had 7% less 
basal cover under continuous than rotational 
stocking. This interaction was attributed to 
grazing preference for bermudagrass over 
infected tall fescue. 

Pasture- and hay-type alfalfa cultivars were 
stocked rotationally or continuously in 
pure stands and in mixtures with meadow 
bromegrass in Manitoba, Canada (Katepa- 
Mupondwa et al., 2002). The four pasture 
types were more persistent than cultivars 
developed for hay use due to high mortality 
of the hay types under continuous stocking. 
After 3 yr of grazing in Georgia, populations 
of alfalfa ranged from 4 to 57 plants nr 2 , 
demonstrating large genetic differences in 
persistence under heavy continuous stocking 
(Smith et al., 1992). In another Georgia study, 
after 3 yr of continuous stocking, hay types of 
alfalfa had 6 to 9 plants nr 2 , grazing types had 
40 to 48 plants m" 2 , and a type selected for 
tolerance to continuous stocking had 64 plants 
nr 2 and produced the most regrowth of any 
cultivar (Smith et al., 1989). 



Diet Selection. The degree to which stocking 
method affects opportunity for diet selection 
can influence pasture botanical composition 
responses. When cattle selected bermudagrass 
over endophyte-infected tall fescue, it lead to 
greater bermudagrass decline under continuous 
than rotational stocking (Kuykendall et al., 
1999b). When Plains old-world bluestem was 
grazed using frontal rotational or continuous 
stocking in Oklahoma, a greater proportion of 
grass and lower proportion of forbs was seen 
on rotationally stocked pastures. The very high 
stocking rates associated with frontal stocking 
apparently reduced opportunity for selection; 
i.e., forbs were avoided under continuous 
stocking but grazed using frontal stocking. 

Number of Paddocks per Pasture. Only two 
studies were found that evaluated the effect of 
numbers of paddocks in rotationally stocked 
pastures on botanical composition. Botanical 
composition was not affected by number 
of paddocks when alfalfa was grazed at two 
stocking rates in rotational pastures with either 
4 or 13 paddocks in Michigan (Schlegel et 
al., 2000b). In Finland, content of white plus 
alsike clover was 17% and 13%, respectively, in 
pastures with 20 and 6 paddocks (Kuusela and 
Khalili, 2002). 

Species Richness and Stocking Method. 

Relatively few studies have assessed rotational 
and continuous stocking effects on species 
richness, i.e., the number of species within 
a biological community. In Iowa, after 
bromegrass and reed canarygrass pastures were 
overseeded with 1 1 temperate legumes, the 
continuously stocked swards had greater species 
richness at a small scale than rotationally 
stocked swards (Guretzky et al, 2007). At a 
larger scale, continuous stocking had greater 
species richness than rotational only for bunch 
grasses. In Wisconsin both rotational and 
continuous stocking supported high species 
richness and proportions of native plants, but 
rotational provided better erosion control and 
aquatic habitat protection (Paine and Ribic, 
2002). Several studies from the Czech Republic 
and Iowa have found greater species richness 
in grazed vs. non-grazed areas (Pykala, 2003; 
Guretzky et al., 2007; Pavlu et al., 2007). In 
contrast, Tracy and Sanderson (2000) found 
little effect from land use, including grazing, on 
plant species richness in the northeastern USA. 



u 



After 3 yr 

of grazing 

in Georgia, 

populations 

of alfalfa... 

demonstrat(ed) 

large genetic 

differences in 

persistence under 

heavy continuous 

stocking. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



The weanling bulls in the 
foreground were stocked at 
7.5 head ha "' on stargrass 
pastures for a 300-d grazing 
season in Jamaica while the 
bull in the background was 
part of a group stocked at 
2.5 head ha'. Average daily 
gain was 0.31 and 0.68 kg 
for animals from high and 
low stocking rate treatments, 
respectively (Hernandez Garay 
etal., 2004). Photo by Lynn 
Sollenberger, University of 
Florida. 



Summary and Recommendations: 
Stocking Method 

There is sufficient evidence from the 
pastureland literature (23 of 27 studies) to 
conclude that rotational stocking increases 
forage quantity-related responses relative to 
continuous stocking, and the average advantage 
for rotational stocking is about 30%. For this 
advantage to occur, rotationally stocked pastures 
must have either greater herbage accumulation 
rate or greater use efficiency of the forage mass. 
There are rational arguments to support both, 
but few studies have directly measured these 
responses. In most cases the quantity-related 
advantages of rotational stocking were measured 
in terms of forage mass, average stocking rate, 
or number of animal days of grazing, etc. 

The effect of stocking method on forage 
nutritive value is inconclusive based on the 



current literature due largely to limitations 
in sampling methods. The literature supports 
a conclusion that stocking method can alter 
pasture botanical composition and persistence, 
but in many situations, interactions with 
other factors make it impossible to generalize 
about the direction and magnitude of the 
responses. Likewise, with rotational stocking, 
the literature is inconclusive as to whether 
the number of paddocks per pasture affects 
plant productivity, nutritive value, and 
plant persistence. The literature supports the 
conclusion that grazed grasslands maintain 
greater species richness than non-grazed areas 
indicating that prescribed grazing is a key 
component of efforts to sustain species diversity 
of grassland communities. 

In total, the literature supports the thesis 
that stocking method is an important grazing 




Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



management decision. It is evident, however, 
that stocking method cannot compensate 
for inappropriate grazing intensity (stocking 
rate or sward height). Thus, it is imperative 
that grazing intensity receive primary focus 
in development of grazing recommendations, 
with stocking method used to fine tune the 
prescribed grazing practice. 

SEASON OF GRAZING AND 
DEFERMENT 

Timing grazing events is a prescribed 
grazing strategy that is thought to affect 
species composition and vigor of grassland 
communities. Timing is usually defined based 
on season of the year, and the associated 
environmental conditions, or plant growth 
stage. Objectives of controlling season of 
grazing may include 1) optimizing year-round 
distribution of forage quantity and nutritive 
value, 2) sustaining sward cover and improving 
persistence, and 3) facilitating seed production 
and natural reseeding. To assess the benefits 
of timing of grazing, the review was organized 
around the following general topical categories: 
1) stockpiling for out-of-season use; 2) timing 
of grazing within the growing season in terms 
of initiation, termination, or deferment of 
grazing; and 3) timing of grazing for seed 
production and seedling recruitment. Fifty-two 
papers provided the basis for this assessment. 

Stockpiling for Out-of-Season Use 

Stockpiling, one of the most-used approaches 
of deferment of grazing, allows forage to 
accumulate in the absence of defoliation for 
use at a later time when growth of pasture is 
limited. There is abundant literature on this 
practice. Of the 52 papers reviewed for this 
section, 27 addressed stockpiling specifically 
and 1 5 of the 27 studied tall fescue. Common 
research topics were effects of forage species, 
nitrogen (N) fertilization rates, and timing of 
initiation and termination dates of stockpiling 
on forage nutritive value, distribution 
of quantity, plant growth in subsequent 
growing seasons, and toxicosis associated with 
endophyte-infected tall fescue. 

Forage Quantity. In Virginia stockpiling 
tall fescue during autumn provided forage for 
winter that extended the grazing season and 
minimized hay feeding compared with other 
forage systems (Allen et al, 1992b). Allocating 



0.27 ha of stockpiled tall fescue per stocker 
animal provided grazing from November 
through March with supplemental hay required 
only for 33 d (Allen et al., 1992a). 

Date of initiation of stockpiling varies 
widely depending on the forage species and 
environment. In the upper Midwest USA, 
early initiation is often needed. For smooth 
bromegrass in Minnesota, initiating stockpiling 
about 1 July, after seedhead production ended, 
optimized forage and leaf mass in October 
(Cuomo et al, 2005). In Nebraska delaying 
initiation of stockpiling of eight cool-season 
grasses from 1 5 July to 1 5 August reduced 
herbage mass in November by 30% (Volesky et 
al., 2008). Due to the longer growing season, 
later initiation is common in warmer regions 
of the USA and in other countries. Yet late 
initiation of stockpiling reduced quantity of 
forage for winter grazing in West Virginia with 
tall fescue (Collins and Balasko, 1981a), in 
West Virginia with a white clover-orchardgrass 
mixture (Belesky and Fedders, 1995), and in 
Ireland with perennial ryegrass or ryegrass— 
white clover pastures (Hennessy et al., 2006). 
Initiating stockpiling of bermudagrass in 
Arkansas in September produced only 30% 
to 40% as much as that initiated in August 
(Scarbrough et al, 2004), but success depended 
upon August rainfall. 

Extending the duration of stockpiling of 
eight cool-season grasses from November to 
February in Nebraska decreased herbage mass 
by 18% to 24% due to winter weathering losses 
(Volesky et al., 2008). Stockpiled forage mass 
of seven grasses in Wisconsin decreased 22% 
to 55% from first frost to March, depending 
on location and length of snow cover (Riesterer 
et al, 2000). Timothy and late-maturing 
orchardgrass needed to be grazed by December 
in that environment, while tall fescue, early- 
maturing orchardgrass, and reed canarygrass 
could be used throughout the December 
through March period. 

Comparing different latitudes, forage 
accumulation of five cool-season grasses 
and white clover in Prince Edwards Island, 
Canada, was negligible after 56 d of stockpiling 
(Kunelius and Narasimhalu, 1993), while 
in Missouri tall fescue achieved maximum 
dry matter (DM) accumulation in mid- 



u 



It is evident, 

however, 

that stocking 

method cannot 

compensate for 

inappropriate 

grazing intensity 

(stocking rate or 

sward height). 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



the increase 
in yield with 
duration of 
stockpiling must 
be balanced with 
the decrease in 
nutritive value. 



November after initiation of stockpiling on 
1 August (Gerrish et al, 1994). Forage mass 
changed little after October for bahiagrass, 
bermudagrass, and kikuyugrass following 
August initiation of stockpiling in Texas 
(Evers et al, 2004). In Florida, late-summer 
stockpiled limpograss yield increased through 
1 November and decreased through the winter 
and spring (Quesenberry and Ocumpaugh, 
1982). 

Forage Nutritive Value. Compromise 
between managing for yield and nutritive 
value is common to stockpiling programs. 
For example, bermudagrass yield in Texas 
increased by 0.15 Mg ha -1 d" 1 from day 14 
through day 56 of stockpiling, but rate of 
decline for in vitro dry matter digestion 
(IVDMD) was 2 g kg 1 d 1 (Holt and Conrad, 
1986). Thus, the increase in yield with 
duration of stockpiling must be balanced with 
the decrease in nutritive value. 

In West Virginia nutritive value of stockpiled 
tall fescue was greater for later initiation dates 
(Collins and Balasko, 1981b). In Nebraska 
delaying initiation of stockpiling of cool- 
season grasses from July to August increased 
IVDMD concentration and decreased NDF 
throughout the winter. Herbage CP of smooth 
bromegrass in Minnesota increased and ADF 
and NDF decreased as initiation of stockpiling 
was delayed (Cuomo et al., 2005). In Ireland 
proportion of green leaf during winter in 
perennial ryegrass and ryegrass-white clover 
pastures was increased by delaying initiation 
of stockpiling, and this was accompanied by a 
decrease in stem and dead herbage (Hennessy 
etal., 2006). 

In Missouri nutritive value of stockpiled 
annual ryegrass, small-grain rye, and tall fescue 
declined from December through March 
(Kallenbach et al, 2003a, 2003b). In North 
Carolina nutritive value of tall fescue was not 
affected by endophyte status during stockpiling 
initiated in mid-August and extending 
through February (Burns et al., 2006), but 
forage in vitro true digestibility declined 
linearly and NDF increased linearly as length 
of stockpiling period increased (Burns et al., 
2006). Similarly, forage NDF of tall fescue and 
festulolium in Missouri increased and total 
digestible nutrients (TDNs) and CP of the 



stockpiled forage decreased from November 
to March (Dierking et al., 2008). In vitro true 
digestibility of tall fescue in Missouri declined 
by 90 (year 1) and 50 (year 2) g kg -1 during 
the 84 d of stockpiling (Curtis and Kallenbach, 
2007). Similar responses were observed with 
five cool-season grasses and white clover in 
Canada (Kunelius and Narasimhalu, 1993), 
perennial ryegrass and white clover in Ireland 
(Hennessy et al., 2006), three C 4 grasses in 
Texas (Evers et al., 2004), bermudagrass 
in Arkansas (Scarbrough et al., 2006), and 
limpograss in Florida (Quesenberry and 
Ocumpaugh, 1982). 

Pasture Performance Following Use for 
Stockpiling. Early autumn initiation of 
stockpiling perennial ryegrass or ryegrass- 
white clover pastures in Ireland decreased tiller 
density in winter, and this effect persisted in 
spring (Hennessy et al, 2006). Initiation of 
new tillers in spring was inhibited in swards 
with high forage mass in autumn and winter 
due to shading at the shoot bases resulting in 
self-thinning. 

In North Carolina persistence of tall fescue of 
varying endophyte status was not affected by 
length of the stockpiling period. Endophyte- 
free types had greater stand loss than 
endophyte-infected or novel-endophyte types, 
which were not different (Burns et al., 2006). 
White clover and orchardgrass were stockpiled 
in West Virginia (Belesky and Fedders, 
1995). When stockpiling was initated early, 
orchardgrass had fewer, larger tillers, and the 
clover had few growing points. Late initiation 
of stockpiling resulted in more clover than 
when initiated early. 

Effect of Endophyte Status on Stockpiled 
Forage. Increasing level of endophyte infection 
(20%, 51%, and 89%) of stockpiled tall 
fescue in Missouri was associated with greater 
forage mass (4.35, 4.51, and 4.95 Mg ha" 1 , 
respectively) during the grazing period. Also in 
Missouri, Kallenbach et al. (2003b) found mass 
of endophyte-infected fescue was 20% greater 
than for endophyte-free or nontoxic endophyte 
when harvested monthly from mid-December 
through mid-March. In North Carolina (Burns 
et al, 2006) and Arkansas (Flores et al., 2007), 
herbage mass of stockpiled tall fescue was not 
affected by endophyte status. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Novel endophyte and endophyte-free tall 
fescue stockpiled in Arkansas beginning in 
late summer and ending from December 
through February had similar DM and NDF 
disappearances (Flores et al., 2007). In 
Missouri, tall fescue with three levels of 
endophyte infection was stockpiled and 
grazed for 84 d starting 1 December 
(Curtis and Kallenbach, 2007). There was 
no effect of endophyte level on CP in either 
of 2 yr, whereas in vitro true digestibility 
was greater in 1 yr for the lowest endophyte 
level. 

Following stockpiling of endophyte-infected 
tall fescue, total ergot alkaloid concentration 
was greatest at the beginning of the grazing 
period and decreased much faster than 
nutritive value during the period (Curtis and 
Kallenbach, 2007). It was recommended that 
low-endophyte pastures be grazed first and 
high-endophyte pastures last. This conclusion 



was supported by additional Missouri 
research with stockpiled novel-endophyte, 
endophyte-free, and endophyte-infected tall 
fescue that was harvested monthly from mid- 
December through mid-March (Kallenbach 
et al., 2003b). Ergovaline was present only 
in toxic endophyte-infected tall fescue, but 
it declined by 85% from December through 
March. 

Seasonal Timing of Initiation, 
Termination, or Deferral of Grazing 

Reasons for altering season of grazing or 
deferring grazing, other than stockpiling 
for out-of-season use, include increasing 
productivity, nutritive value, and persistence 
of the pasture or maintaining botanical 
composition, reducing weed invasion, 
improving water use, and improving wildlife 
food and habitat. Most related research was 
conducted in Europe, New Zealand, and 
Australia, but there is some US literature. 



Switchgrass is an example of 
a warm-season grass that can 
provide grazing during periods 
when cool-season grasses 
are not productive. Including 
warm-season grasses in a 
grazing system can diversify 
the landscape and improve 
wildlife habitat. Photo by Lynn 
Betts, USDA-NRCS. 




CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 




Alternative water sources may 
reduce time livestock spend 
in surface water bodies and 
improve animal health, water 
quality, and wildlife habitat. 
Photo by Chris Coulon, USDA- 
NRCS. 



Timing of Initiation. Big bluestem in Nebraska 
was grazed in May when tillers were 1 5 to 
20 cm tall or not grazed until late vegetative 
or early stem elongation stages (Mousel et 
al., 2003). Grazing in May did not reduce 
season-long pre-grazing forage mass, but 
pastures grazed at stem elongation in June had 
limited regrowth. Grazing first at vegetative 
instead of stem elongation stage resulted in 
greater seasonal leaf yields and allowed for 
grazing in both August and September. May 
grazing did not negatively affect persistence, 



but root mass, area, and volume in the top 
30 cm of soil were lowest in paddocks grazed 
first at stem elongation (Mousel et al., 2005). 
In Iowa delaying spring grazing of smooth 
bromegrass increased forage mass at turn out 
from approximately 800 to 2700 kg ha" 1 , but 
CP and IVDMD declined linearly as turn out 
was delayed. 

Herbage mass was greater for perennial 
ryegrass in Ireland following late April vs. late 
March or early April turnout (Carton et al., 
1989a). A greater proportion of smaller tillers 
during subsequent regrowth was associated 
with early defoliation and resulted in lower 
leaf extension rates (Carton et al., 1989b). 
In France early grazing of perennial ryegrass 
reduced subsequent pre-grazing herbage mass, 
but it increased sward nutritive value into the 
summer (O'Donovan and Delaby, 2008). Early 
turnout for timothy and tall fescue in Finland 
decreased pre-grazing herbage mass early in 
the growing season but not later (Virkajarvi 
et al., 2003). Reduced autumn regeneration 
of growth was observed in phalaris plants 
defoliated the previous spring at either early 
stem elongation or early boot stages (Culvenor, 
1994). Avoidance of a heavy grazing during 
stem elongation in spring enhanced persistence 
when subsequent growth conditions were 
unfavorable due to dry weather. 

Timing of Termination. Grazing perennial 
ryegrass, prairiegrass, and tall fescue swards 
every 30 d from August through November 
in Pennsylvania gave greater fall yield than 
grazing during September only, but the latter 
had greater spring yields than traditional 
stockpile and monthly grazing treatments (Hall 
et al., 1998). Greater tiller density in spring 
following grazing only in September resulted 
in greater spring yield for that treatment. In 
another Pennsylvania study on prairiegrass, 
spring yield decreased linearly as date of last 
defoliation the previous fall was delayed (Jung 
et al, 1994). Early fall harvest allowed time for 
replenishment of reserves prior to winter, but 
late fall harvest did not, especially when stubble 
was short. Tiller density in spring was greater 
for early than late fall defoliation. 

In Quebec, Canada, autumn harvest of tall 
fescue taken after 15 September decreased 
ground cover and spring DM yield (Drapeau et 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



al., 2007). Harvesting or grazing tall fescue in 
the week preceding or following the first killing 
frost reduced spring growth and persistence. 
In Ireland delaying closure date of fall grazing 
of perennial ryegrass from 20 October to 
December decreased herbage mass through late 
May (Roche et al., 1996). 

Timing of Deferral (Other than Stockpiling). 

Deferral of grazing involves delaying onset 
of grazing or removing animals for a specific 
purpose before resuming grazing. Deferral 
of grazing of perennial ryegrass-white clover 
pastures in New Zealand throughout portions 
of the warm season increased annual herbage 
accumulation by 10% to 49% in the first year 
and 16% to 26% in the second (Harris et al., 
1999). Deferral increased clover contribution, 
and amount of increase was positively related to 
duration of the deferral. The authors suggested 
that deferral resulted in lower soil temperatures 
and higher soil moisture that promoted survival 
of clover stolons and growing points. In New 
York white clover growth and recovery after 
grazing was poor following hot, dry weather 
in combination with grazing stress (Karsten 
and Fick, 1999). The authors recommended 
decreased grazing intensity during and for a 
short time after such weather events. 

Humphrey and Patterson (2000) examined 
the question of how best to manage 
grazed pastureland in Scotland to promote 
biodiversity. Late summer grazing (early August 
to late September) was compared to no grazing, 
and species diversity declined with the no 
grazing treatment while it remained the same 
for the seasonal grazing treatment. The authors 
concluded that seasonal grazing was a useful 
management tool to promote plant biodiversity 
in pasturelands. 

Seed Production and Seedling 
Recruitment 

Grazing during the period of flowering and 
seed production has significant implications 
for seed production and seedling recruitment. 
Research on this topic is limited in the USA. In 
Florida seed yield of aeschynomene decreased 
when closure of autumn grazing was delayed 
(Sollenberger and Quesenberry, 1986). 
Maximum seed yields were achieved when 
autumn closure occurred 7 d to 14 d before 
first flower. Subsequent research showed that 



discontinuing grazing at first flower or the 
week before was critical to achieving successful 
natural reseeding (Chaparro et al, 1991). 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Season of Grazing and Deferment 

Stockpiling extends the grazing season and 
reduces reliance on stored feed in many 
environments. In general, early initiation of 
stockpiling increases forage mass, but nutritive 
value is lower and duration of the regular 
grazing season on these pastures is shorter. 
Because weather conditions affect forage 
accumulation during autumn and impact both 
initiation and termination dates, choice of 
these dates is highly environment and forage 
species specific. In some environments, and 
with certain species, termination date is more 
flexible because mass and nutritive value of 
forage change relatively little during the late 
autumn through winter period. In other 
situations, termination date is critical because 
mass and nutritive value decrease rapidly 
after a defined date or period of stockpiling. 
Studies are limited on effects of stockpiling 
on subsequent stands, but early initiation of 
stockpiling to increase herbage mass during 
autumn and winter leads to decreased spring 
tiller density in some species. 

The effect of endophyte status on forage mass 
and its ergovaline concentration must be 
considered when stockpiling tall fescue. In 
several studies, ergovaline declined rapidly 
in stockpiled endophyte-infected tall fescue 
during the late autumn and winter. Thus, 
other species or endophyte-free or novel- 
endophyte tall fescue should be grazed early in 
the utilization period, with endophyte-infected 
fescue grazed later after most ergovaline has 
dissipated. 

Timing of initiation, termination, and deferral 
of grazing is important for maintaining cover 
and desired sward botanical composition. 
Relative to timing of initiation of grazing, most 
studies reviewed suggest a compromise between 
forage accumulation and nutritive value. 
Early turnout in spring often is associated 
with greater tiller production but lower forage 
mass at spring initiation that often carries 
over to subsequent grazing periods. Pastures 
grazed early after stockpiling have greater leaf 
percentage, less dead material, and greater 



u 



...ergovaline 

declined rapidly 

in stockpiled 

endophyte-infected 

tall fescue during 

the late autumn 

and winter." 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



Efficiency of 
forage utilization 
can be increased 
by multispecies 
grazing due to 
less rejection of 
forage" 



nutritive value. When termination date of fall 
grazing is important, its effect is often due to 
tiller dynamics or carbohydrate reserves. 

Deferred grazing, other than stockpiling, has 
not been studied widely. Avoiding grazing 
during or immediately before a period of heat 
or drought stress is the most common practice 
described in the literature. There appears to be 
a need for research to more clearly delineate the 
effect of seasonality of grazing for the benefit of 
grassland management practitioners. 

As need for high-quality forages in pastures 
increases, e.g., pasture-based dairying and 
grass-fattened beef, additional research into 
optimal timing of initiation, termination, and 
deferral of grazing is likely to be needed. There 
has been relatively little of this research done 
in the USA. The effects of timing of initiation 
of grazing on subsequent forage production 
and nutritive value, and the effects of timing 
of termination on persistence and regrowth 
suggest that this is an area that may benefit 
from increased research focus, especially when 
environmental responses are included. 

TYPE AND CLASS OF LIVESTOCK 

Different types of livestock have different 
physical characteristics, foraging strategies, 
and ingestive anatomy; thus it is expected 
their effect on pastureland will differ. This 
grazing strategy has received considerably less 
research attention than others addressed thus 
far. Only 1 5 papers described forage quantity, 
nutritive value, botanical composition, and 
plant persistence responses to type and class 
of livestock. Much of that literature focused 
on mixed grazing effects on plant responses, 
with fewer addressing type of livestock effects. 
No studies were found that compared plant 
responses to classes of livestock within a species. 

Differences in Ingestive Anatomy and 
Behavior among Ruminants and Horses 

Ruminants are commonly classified into 
feeding types based on ingestive anatomy and 
feed choices (Hofmann, 1989). Cattle and 
sheep are often categorized as "grazers" or "grass 
and roughage" eaters. Grazers have relative 
short lips, broad muzzles, and a cornified 
tongue that protects it during tearing of 
abrasive plant tissue (Van Soest, 1994). Goats 
are termed "intermediate feeders," with some 



characteristics of both "grazers" and "selectors." 
Goats have a fairly narrow but deep mouth 
opening and mobile lips and tongue designed 
for selective ingestion of plants and plant parts 
including leaves and twigs of woody plant 
species (Van Soest, 1994). 

Sheep have narrower mouths and a highly 
curved incisor arcade making them better 
suited anatomically for diet selection, including 
browsing, and grazing closer to ground than 
cattle (Walker, 1994), but sheep generally 
prefer grazing herbaceous material if quantity 
is not limiting (Benavides et al., 2009). Horses 
have mobile lips and a large mouth; they ingest 
forage by severing it between their upper and 
lower incisors. This mode of prehension causes 
horses to prefer shorter pasture than cattle, and 
horses are notorious spot grazers. 

Individual or Multispecies Grazing 
Effects on Plant Response 

Grazing two or more livestock species on the 
same land in a single growing season is known 
as dual use or multispecies grazing (Animut 
and Goetsch, 2008). Efficiency of forage 
utilization can be increased by multispecies 
grazing due to less rejection of forage due to 
dung contamination (Abaye et al., 1994), 
preference for particular species or plant parts, 
willingness to consume plants that are not 
preferred or would have adverse effects on the 
other animal species, and ability to gain access 
to forage (topography, terrain, or plant growth 
habit) that is not available to the co-grazing 
species. Because pastures often tend to be less 
species rich than rangeland, opportunities to 
take advantage of multispecies grazing may be 
fewer in pastureland than in rangeland. 

Forage Quantity. In Virginia sheep grazed 
closer to cattle dung spots than did cattle to 
cattle dung spots, resulting in greater forage 
utilization and pasture uniformity in mixed- 
grazing pastures (Abaye et al., 1994). Lambs 
reached target weight sooner on mixed- 
grazing pastures, allowing earlier removal and 
avoidance of late-summer stress due to lack 
of available forage. Mixed cattle and sheep 
grazing alfalfa-orchardgrass pastures in Mexico 
promoted more homogeneous grazing than 
did cattle alone due to lower rejection of dung- 
contaminated forage (Mendiola-Gonzalez et al., 
2007). 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



The grazing behavior of different animal 
species also seems to be associated with 
observed differences in quantity of forage. 
In northwest Spain pastures grazed by cattle 
had taller mean height than those grazed 
by sheep (Benavides et al., 2009). Sheep 
were able to maintain their live weight at a 
lower sward height, and they grazed more 
intensively on the pasture area. In Australia 
a phalaris-subterranean clover pasture was 
grazed by cattle alone, sheep alone, or cattle 
+ sheep (Bennett et al., 1970). Rank of 
forage mass was always cattle alone > cattle 
+ sheep > sheep alone. Similarly, in alfalfa- 
orchardgrass pastures in Mexico, forage mass 
was lower and sward height shorter when 
lambs grazed alone than for heifers, and 
mixed grazing was intermediate. In ryegrass— 
white clover pastures in northern Spain, 
swards where goats grazed last had greater 
forage mass because goats grazed taller, non- 
grazed material and clumps, leading to more 



uniformly high growth rates (del Pozo et al., 
1998). 

In summary, research assessing the effect of 
different livestock species on forage mass is 
limited. The most consistent response has 
been that forage mass or sward height is less 
on pastures grazed by sheep than on those 
grazed by cattle or goats. An experimental issue 
of concern for studies comparing mono- and 
mixed-species grazing is equalizing stocking 
rates among treatments. Failure to do so greatly 
limits the value of the research. 

Forage Nutritive Value. Minimal research 
addresses the effect of type of livestock grazing 
on nutritive value of pastureland. In Virginia, 
Kentucky bluegrass and white clover pastures 
were grazed by cattle, sheep, or both, and 
trends in nutritive value were not consistent 
(Abaye et al., 1994). In some cases, nutritive 
value responses can be inferred based on 



Shade can be a powerful 
attractant to livestock when 
temperatures are high, 
affecting livestock and manure 
distribution in the landscape. 
Photo by Carmen Agouridis, 
University of Kentucky. 




CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 




Uncontrolled access of livestock 
to surface water bodies can 
negatively affect livestock 
health, water quality, and 
wildlife. Photo by Carmen 
Agouridis, University of 
Kentucky. 



changes in botanical composition. White clover 
contribution increased in perennial ryegrass- 
white clover swards grazed by goats vs. sheep 
in Scotland (del Pozo et al., 1997) or grazed 
most recently by goats vs. sheep in Spain (del 
Pozo et al., 1998). In the latter case, grass 
stem and dead proportion were lower when 
pastures were grazed most recently by goats, 
and these differences would also be consistent 
with greater nutritive value on pastures grazed 
by goats than by sheep. Improvement in animal 
performance for both goats and steers followed 
shifts in botanical composition associated with 
multispecies grazing (Donaldson, 1979). 

Forage Botanical Composition and 
Persistence. The majority of studies have 
assessed effects of type of livestock on 
botanical composition. Two common themes 
emerge. Goats or, to a lesser extent, sheep can 
reduce shrub and brush cover in abandoned 
or invaded pastureland, and a consistent 
pattern is seen of reduction in legume or forb 
composition of pastures associated with grazing 
by sheep relative to other grazers. 

In Virginia pastures grazed by sheep (alone 
or with cattle) had at least 1 percentage 
units more bluegrass than when cattle grazed 
alone, five to seven percentage units less 
white clover, and three to six units less forbs 
(Abaye et al., 1997). They concluded sheep 
preferred broadleaf plants, both legumes and 
forbs, and sheep in mixed-grazing pastures 



affected composition similarly but to a lesser 
extent than sheep alone. In Australia, after 3 
yr of grazing a phalaris-subterranean clover 
pasture, percent clover was 57%, 46%, and 
36%, respectively, for cattle, cattle and sheep, 
and sheep alone (Bennett et al., 1970). 
They concluded that clover benefited from 
cattle grazing because they consumed more 
grass stems and dead material than sheep, 
encouraging growth of clover. In an extensive 
review of United Kingdom grazing literature 
on mesotrophic "old meadow" pasture, 
Stewart and Pullin (2008) found support for 
the conclusion that sheep grazing can result 
in lower forb diversity than cattle grazing, 
especially at high stocking rates. 

In northern Spain swards had higher live clover 
percentage and lower dead and grass stem 
proportions where goats grazed last than where 
co-grazed or sheep grazed last (del Pozo et al., 
1998). The authors suggested goats were better 
able to deal with reproductive and senescent 
grass material and grazed it to lower residual 
heights. Studies in Scotland and New South 
Wales, Australia, showed the proportion of 
clover was greater with goat grazing than with 
sheep grazing (del Pozo et al, 1997; Hoist et 
al., 2004). 

In North Carolina overgrown hill land pasture 
(most prominent species were Kentucky 
bluegrass, tall fescue, and white clover) was 
not grazed, grazed by goats alone, or grazed 
by both goats and cattle to determine their 
effectiveness in reclaiming areas overgrown 
with invading herbaceous weeds and woody 
species (Luginbuhl et al., 1999). During the 
course of four grazing seasons, goats grazing 
alone or with cattle effectively shifted botanical 
composition of overgrown hill land pastures 
toward desirable forage species and controlled 
encroaching multiflora rose. In northern 
Spain, one-third of the treatment area was 
perennial ryegrass-white clover pasture and 
the remainder was shrubland (Benavides et 
al., 2009). Goats were more intentional in 
browsing than sheep and cattle, and mixed 
grazing with goats slowed brush encroachment 
and increased growth of herbaceous plants. 
In New South Wales, Australia, goats were an 
effective control strategy for nodding thistle 
in tall fescue-perennial ryegrass-white clover- 
subclover pastures (Hoist et al, 2004). 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Summary and Recommendations: Type 
and Class of Livestock 

No evidence was found that breed or age of 
a particular species has significant effects on 
pasture characteristics, but species of livestock 
is important. Livestock species have minimal 
effect on forage quantity and nondocumented 
effects on forage nutritive value, but 
important and well-documented effects on 
botanical composition and persistence. The 
literature verifies that co-grazing or grazing by 
particular species can be used to manipulate 
botanical composition of pastures and that 
selection of livestock species is an important 
prescribed grazing tool for maintaining 
legumes in pastures and ridding swards of 
invasive, unwanted, or potentially toxic 
plants. Further research is needed, however, 
because studies to date have been relatively 
limited both geographically and in the forage 
species tested. In addition, most research is 
from outside the USA, leaving a significant 
gap in determining the potential of using 
particular livestock species or mixed grazing 
in the USA. 

Stocking rate is a key consideration when 
comparing grazing by different types and 
classes of livestock, but choice of livestock 
species can be an excellent tool for improving 
vegetation condition. The literature consensus 
is that choice of animal species is less critical 
than grazing intensity, but more research is 
required to fully understand animal species- 
grazing intensity interactions (Stewart and 
Pullin, 2008). 

DISTRIBUTION OF LIVESTOCK IN 
THE LANDSCAPE 

Factors affecting livestock distribution on 
pastureland include position of water and 
shade, proximity to barns, topography, and 
feed sources (Mathews et al., 1996). As cattle 
frequent an area, they affect plants and soil 
and may influence water quality and quantity 
as well as riparian and watershed function 
(CAST, 2002). Much of the literature on 
livestock distribution focuses on water 
impacts. However, a total of 13 papers did 
specifically address plant responses. Major 
areas of discussion included the effect of 
topography, paddock size, and position of 
shade and water on forage mass and species 
composition. 



Topography 

On hill-country pastures in New Zealand, 
approximately 60% of dung accumulated in 
flat areas (hill summits or bottoms of slopes), 
and the proportion of dung in the remainder 
of the pasture decreased as slope increased 
(Rowarth et al., 1992). Deposition of dung 
is closely associated with time spent in a 
portion of the landscape (Dubeux et al., 2009), 
implying animals spent more time in flat areas. 
The literature does not allow separation of the 
effects of topographic distribution of livestock 
from the inherent characteristics (e.g., soil 
fertility, drainage, aspect) of a portion of a 
landscape. However, numerous studies describe 
topographic differences in plant responses 
under grazing. 

A series of studies were conducted on cool- 
season grass pasture (smooth bromegrass, 
Kentucky bluegrass, and reed canarygrass 
dominated) in Iowa that was overseeded with 
legumes. Summit (top, 0-5% slope), backslope 
(middle, 10-24% slope), and toeslope 
(bottom, 0-5% slope) landscape positions were 
compared under continuous and rotational 
stocking at the same stocking rate. Forage mass 
was greatest on toeslope positions (Harmoney 
et al., 2001), and legume mass, proportion, 
richness, and diversity showed increasing 
trends at backslope positions compared with 
summit or toeslope. Sloping sites had greater 
numbers of species than flat sites. Shannon's 
Diversity Index was greater for sloping vs. flat 
areas and was ranked continuous > rotational 
> non-grazed (Barker et al., 2002). Species 
richness within grazed pastures was greatest 
on backslope positions, and species diversity 
was limited at summit and toeslope by grass 
competition (Guretzky et al., 2005). Legumes 
tended to be greatest and weeds least on 
backslope and with rotational stocking. 

Also in Iowa, legume percentage cover 
increased as a function of slope, and the rate 
of increase was greater for rotational than 
continuous stocking and both were greater 
than non-grazed (Guretzky et al., 2004). 
Legumes were most successful at 15% to 20% 
slope. Success of legumes at these slopes was 
associated with less competition from grasses 
than at summit or toeslope, and competition 
from grasses was greatest where soil moisture 
was highest. No data were reported on 



u 



...co-grazing 

or grazing by 

particular species 

can be used 

to manipulate 

botanical 

composition of 

pastures 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



Reducing 
paddock size 
produces greater 
evenness of 
forage use within 
paddocks... 



proportion of time spent by livestock at various 
slopes, so it is not clear if varied grazing time 
played a role in the response. In southeast 
Queensland, Australia, slope position had 
relatively minor effects on species richness, but 
there was evidence of less diversity in more 
fertile areas, perhaps comparable to toeslopes 
in Iowa (Mclntyre and Martin, 2001). In Israel 
wetland sites had significantly lower richness 
of annual legumes compared with upland sites 
(Noy-Meir and Kaplan, 2002), perhaps again 
associated with greater competition from well- 
adapted grasses in wetland areas. 

Paddock Size 

Patch grazing contributes to grassland 
degradation, even at low stocking rates (Barnes 
et al., 2008). Norton (2003) hypothesized 
that livestock in smaller paddocks or at higher 
stocking densities are more evenly distributed 
and access more forage. Reducing paddock size 
produces greater evenness of forage use within 
paddocks by limiting area available at one time 
and forcing grazing to occur more widely across 
the landscape as a whole (Hart et al, 1993). 
Making more effective use of pasture resources 
by distributing grazing more widely and 
uniformly across the landscape is an effective 
strategy for increasing livestock productivity 
(Hunt etaL, 2007). 

Proximity to Shade, Water, or 
Structures 

In a diverse pasture landscape in northern 
Germany, grazing sites with a shorter distance 
to a water trough or pond were preferred by 
cattle, while sheep preferred grazing close 
to their shed (Putfarken et al., 2008). In the 
Northern Territory of Australia, installing 
additional water points in large paddocks 
improved uniformity of grazing distribution, 
and providing shade, especially away from 
water points, induced livestock to use more 
areas in the pasture (Hunt et al., 2007). In 
Alabama relief from heat stress was the major 
factor in habitat-use decisions by cattle during 
the warm season (Zuo and Miller-Goodman, 
2004). At this location, livestock stood in 
surface water bodies, because of their cooling 
potential, even when alternative water and 
shade sources were provided. 

Changes in soil N, phosphorus (P), and 
potassium (K) were compared around shade 



and water sources in rotationally stocked 
kikuyugrass pastures in Hawaii (Mathews et 
al., 1999). Based on the magnitude of increases 
in soil nutrient concentration, the authors 
concluded that excreta deposition was greater 
around shade than water and that shade sources 
had a greater effect than water sources on 
distribution of cattle in the landscape. 

In 0.33- to 1-ha bahiagrass pastures in Florida 
that were continuously stocked, herbage 
accumulation rate was 40, 33, and 20 kg ha 1 
d _1 , respectively, in zones that were less than 
8 m (zone 1), 8 to 16 m (zone 2), or > 16 m 
from shade or water (Zone 3) (Dubeux et al., 
2006). Response was due in part to greater 
accumulation of soil nutrients in zone 1. 
Herbage mass in the three zones was 2410, 
2900, and 3030 kg ha" 1 , respectively. This was 
associated with greater time spent by animals 
in zone 1 and corresponding reduction in 
forage mass. In the lowest of three management 
intensity treatments, forage N, P, and in vitro 
digestion were greater in zone 1 than zone 3, 
likely because of greater nutrient deposition via 
excreta in zone 1, and also because of greater 
resident time by animals, resulting in more 
frequent visits to a given patch with less mature 
forage. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Distribution of Livestock in the 
Landscape 

There is sparse literature describing plant 
responses to livestock distribution. Within 
rolling topography, it is difficult to separate 
the effects of livestock distribution from 
those of aspect, soil fertility, and drainage. 
In general, sloping areas are thought to have 
shorter grazing time, greater species richness, 
greater legume proportion, and less herbage 
accumulation than summit or toeslope areas. 
These differences might serve to influence 
subsequent grazing behavior and time spent in 
various regions of the pasture, but this has not 
been quantified. 

Shade and water are other major factors 
affecting livestock distribution. Shade seems to 
have a greater impact on livestock distribution 
than does location of water source, 
particularly during warm seasons or in warm 
climates. There is evidence that subdividing 
large grazing units into smaller paddocks 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



decreases heterogeneity in forage mass and 
amount of overgrazed areas within the pasture. 
Further, increasing the number of watering 
points in conjunction with decreasing 
pasture size may minimize spot grazing 
and reduce associated stand deterioration. 
These management interventions could be 
considered as part of a prescribed grazing plan 
in large pastures. 

PURPOSE 2: IMPROVE OR MAINTAIN 
QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF FORAGE 
FOR GRAZING AND BROWSING 
ANIMALS' HEALTH AND PRODUCTIVITY 

Grazing Intensity 

A rich literature describes the nature of the 
relationship between grazing intensity and 
animal productivity. Because of complexities 
and costs associated with research utilizing 
reproductive livestock, most of this work 
has been conducted with growing animals. 
Because the fundamental relationships 
between grazing intensity and nutrient harvest 
do not vary among classes of livestock, and 
because animal growth rates often provide 
a more sensitive measure of production 
responses than changes in body energy stores 
or reproductive rates, the bulk of the literature 
relies heavily on results from studies with 
growing animals. 

There is broad agreement that increasing 
grazing intensity, typically measured as 
stocking rate (animal units ha 1 for a grazing 
season), results in a decrease in performance 
of individual animals. The nature of this 
decrease, however, has been the subject of 
considerable discussion in the literature. 
A review by Hart (1993) describes several 
models of the stocking rate-gain response 
curve. Generally, on a given forage base, 
there is a critical stocking rate below which 
gain per animal is either unaffected or may 
increase slightly with increasing stocking 
rate. Models differ in their description of the 
gain per animal response above this critical 
stocking rate. Specifically, the decrease in 
gain per animal with increasing stocking 
rate has been described as linear with no 
threshold (e.g., Hart, 1978), or curvilinear 
with a concave (e.g., Mott, 1960) or a convex 
(e.g., Petersen et al., 1965) response surface 
(Fig. 3.3). 




Even if the linear model is an oversimplification 
of the true biology of the association, it appears 
to adequately describe the response in the 
majority of studies in the literature. Thus, 
in this synthesis, various studies have been 
summarized with respect to the parameters of 
a threshold model in which gain is relatively 
unaffected at low stocking rates and declines in 
a linear fashion with increasing stocking rate. 

Stimulated by the CEAP effort, and to better 
understand the effect of stocking rate on 
animal response, a comprehensive assessment 
of the relationship was undertaken across 
a large number of studies in the literature 
(Sollenberger and Vanzant, 201 1). Because of 
the wide variation in individual animal weights 
in various studies, it was not adequate to 
describe stocking rates in terms of numbers of 
animals per unit area. Thus, stocking rates were 
described in kg live wt ha" 1 , and these values 
were based on live weight at the beginning of 
the grazing season (i.e., kg initial live weight 
ha" 1 ). The influence of stocking rate was also 
evaluated as a function of metabolic body 
weight (wt 075 ). 

The data included were obtained from 
non-rangeland US studies published in 
refereed journals over the last 48 yr. Two 
nonrefereed studies (Gerrish, 2000; Vanzant, 
2010) were included to provide data from 
underrepresented geographical regions and 
because all of the essential data were available. 



Livestock access to streams 
can cause stream widening, 
reduced water depth, and 
increased water temperature, 
all of which negatively affect 
wildlife habitat. Photo by Car- 
men Agouridis, University of 
Kentucky. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



Peterson et al. 



Mott, 1960 




12 3 4 

Stocking Rate (Head ha" 1 ) 



FIGURE 3.3. Models proposed to describe the 
response of average daily gain to increases in 
stocking rate include linear (e.g., Hart, 1978), 
curvilinear with a concave response surface (e.g., 
Mott, l 960), or a plateau followed by a convex 
response surface (e.g., Petersen et al., I 965). 



The majority of the studies utilized growing 
beef cattle and reported rates of gain as affected 
by grazing intensity. 

To provide a response criterion that could be 
quantitatively analyzed, average daily gain 
within each study was regressed on stocking 
rate, providing both a ^-intercept and a 
slope value for each study. These jy-intercept 
and slope data constituted the parameters 
for a subsequent meta-analysis. A multiple 
regression approach was used to evaluate the 
influence of several factors on the slope of 
the average daily gain response to stocking 
rate. From the 26 independent reports, 58 
observations (treatment x year combinations) 
were included in the multiple regression 
analysis. More detail on this procedure 
is provided by Sollenberger and Vanzant 
(2011). 



rates, the more rapid the decrease in average 
daily with increasing stocking rate. 

Any factor that leads to greater forage quality, 
and thus increases intake, will increase the rate 
at which forage is removed at a given stocking 
rate. Similarly, an increase in stocking rate 
ultimately accelerates the decrease in average 
daily gain. Much smaller, but significant, 
portions of the variation were explained by 
the presence of grass and/or legumes. Little 
difference was seen in the effect of grazing 
intensity on ADG between alfalfa and "grass- 
only" pastures, but the effect was greater in 
mixed grass-legume stands. The relationship 
between grazing intensity and animal 
performance is likely more complex in mixtures 
than in monocultures because of variable 
effects of grazing intensity on the responses of 
the different species. The analysis also showed 
that at higher latitudes, an increase in stocking 
rate caused a smaller reduction in ADG than 
did a similar increase in stocking rate at lower 
latitudes. 

Occasional reports are found of improved 
animal performance with increased grazing 
intensity (Bryan and Prigge, 1994; Fike 
et al, 2003; Burns and Fisher, 2008). In 
general, such improvements occur when 
forage mass is sufficient to allow ad libitum 
intake and diet nutritive value to increase as 
grazing intensity increases. Within the range 
of stocking rates typically studied, however, 
the negative influence of increasing grazing 
intensity on individual animal performance 
appears to be caused by reduced forage intake 
due to decreasing forage mass, and the slope 
of the ADG response to stocking rate becomes 
even more negative as forage nutritive value 
increases. 



A four-variable model was derived using all 
58 observations, which accounted for 69% of 
the variation in slope of the average daily gain 
response to stocking rate. Fifty-six percent of 
the variation in the slope of the response was 
attributable to differences in the y intercept 
of average daily gain. Thus, from this data 
set, the strongest predictor of the slope of 
the average daily gain response to increasing 
stocking rate was the estimate of gain at a 
theoretical "zero stocking rate." The greater 
the estimated gain of cattle at low stocking 



The relative roles of forage quantity and 
nutritive value were determined to be as 
follows: Forage nutritive value sets the upper 
limit for individual animal response (e.g., 
average daily gain), the slope of the decline in 
daily gain with increasing grazing intensity, 
and the "critical" forage mass at which the 
decline in daily gain begins. Forage quantity 
determines the proportion of potential daily 
gain response that actually will be achieved 
from a defined forage. Further, it is the 
primary driver of the direction of the daily 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



gain response (negative) to increasing grazing 
intensity (Sollenberger and Vanzant, 201 1). 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Grazing Intensify 

This literature synthesis supports the 
overriding importance of grazing intensity in 
determining animal performance on pasture. 
As was concluded for plant response, choices 
of stocking rate or sward stubble height are 
the most critical decisions affecting animal 
performance on grazed pastureland. The initial 
focus of prescribed grazing recommendations 
for maintaining quantity and quality of forage 
for health and productivity of grazing and 
browsing animals should rest squarely on 
implementing the proper grazing intensity. 

STOCKING METHOD 

The relative benefits of different stocking 
methods to animal production continue 
to be debated. Primary interest in stocking 
methods stems from the desire to improve 
the productivity and sustainability of pasture- 
based livestock production systems. Differences 
among stocking methods could occur due to 
1) maintaining more productive or higher- 
quality forage species, 2) increasing forage 
accumulation rate, 3) increasing the percentage 
of available forage mass that is consumed by 
limiting animal selectivity, or 4) ensuring more 
uniform animal distribution across the pasture. 
Much popular literature suggests that stocking 
method, and, in particular, rotational stocking, 
can improve animal production from pasture- 
based livestock production systems. This 
assertion will be evaluated. 

Recently Briske et al. (2008) published 
a comprehensive review of the scientific 
literature dealing with the implementation 
of rotational stocking on rangelands. Among 
their conclusions was that "The experimental 
evidence indicates that rotational grazing is a 
viable grazing strategy on rangelands, but the 
perception that it is superior to continuous 
grazing is not supported by the vast majority of 
experimental investigations." 

Our goal was to conduct a similar analysis 
of the pastureland literature to determine 
what conclusions it supports about stocking 
methods. The 19 papers published in refereed 
journals from US research included 29 separate 



comparisons of gain per animal response and 
26 of gain per ha response on continuously and 
rotationally stocked pastures (Table 3.4). 

Sixty-six percent of experiments (19 of 29) 
showed no difference in gain per animal 
between rotational and continuous stocking, 
24% (6 of 29) showed continuous greater 
than rotational, and 14% (4 of 29) showed 
rotational greater than continuous (Fig. 3.4). 
Thus, the literature suggests that in most 
situations no difference is found among 
stocking methods in gain per animal. This 
is consistent with and follows the lack of 
conclusive evidence for an effect of stocking 
method on forage nutritive value, as reported 
earlier in this chapter. 

With 26 observations, 69% (19 of 26) 
showed no difference in gain per ha between 
continuous and rotational stocking (Fig. 3.5). 
Gain per ha was greater for rotational than 
continuous stocking in 27% of observations 
(7 of 26), while continuous was greater than 
rotational in only 4% (1 of 26). Earlier in 
the chapter it was noted that 85% of studies 
comparing rotational and continuous stocking 
showed forage quantity advantages for 
rotational stocking. Thus, the question arises: 
Why would 85% of studies report rotational 
stocking has a forage quantity advantage, but 
only 27% report greater animal gain per ha? 

One issue that merits attention is experimental 
methodology, especially whether the 
experiment was conducted using the same or 
variable stocking rates. When responses to 
stocking method of gain per animal and gain 
per ha were sorted based on whether stocking 
rate was the same or variable, the response of 
average daily gain was similar across methods 
(62% showed no difference for same stocking 
rate experiments vs. 69% for variable; Fig. 3.4). 
However, when gain per ha was measured, 
92% of same stocking rate studies showed no 
difference between methods, while variable 
stocking rate studies showed no difference in 
50% of cases (Fig. 3.5). 

Why might this occur? Gain per ha is a 
function of average daily gain and stocking rate. 
When stocking rate is fixed at the same level 
on both continuous and rotational treatments, 
difference in gain per ha can only occur due to 



u 



...literature 

synthesis supports 

the overriding 

importance of 

grazing intensity 

in determining 

animal 

performance on 

pasture. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



TABLE 3.4. Summary of experiments evaluating animal responses to continuous and rotational stocking. 



Forage type 2 


Animal Animal 
Location species 3 class 4 


Length of 
trial, years 


No. of pasture 
replicates 




Irrigated alfalfa-tall wheatgrass 


Tucumcari, NM B G 


2 2 


Bahiagrass 


Brooksville, FL B G 


3 2 




Smooth bromegrass-reed canary grass- 
quackgrass-timothy-Kentucky bluegrass 


Ste. Anne de B DO 
Bellevue, QC 


2 


2 




Bermudagrass/-wheat- legume mix 


Parsons, KS B DO 


3 


2 


Bermudagrass-E(+) tall fescue 


Eatonton, GA B G 


2 


3 




Bermudagrass-wheat-annual ryegrass 


Booneville, AR B G 


2 


2 




Tall fescue-orchardgrass-clover 


El Dorado B G 
Springs, MO 


1 


2 




Bahiagrass 


Brooksville, FL B DO 


3 


2 




Bermudagrass-E(-) tall fescue 


Eatonton, GA B DO 


3 


2 




Alfalfa-meadow bromegrass-Russian 
wild ryegrass 


Brandon, MB B G 


4 


2 




Italian ryegrass 


Jeanerette, LA B G 


1 


4 




Alfalfa-orchardgrass 


Bozeman, MT O E 

L 


2 


2 




Bermudagrass 


Gainesville, FL B G 


2 


3 




Old world bluestem 


El Reno, OK B G 


2 


2 




Alfalfa-tall fescue-orchardgrass 


Baylis, IL B G 


2 2 




E(+) tall fescue-ladino clover 


Springfield, TN B DO 


4 


2 




E(+) tall fescue 

E(+) tall fescue-ladino clover 


Parsons, KS B G 


1 


2 




Bromegrass 


Clay Center, NE B G 


1 
1 


2 


Coastal Bermudagrass 


Tifton, GA B G 


3 


4 



'Comparisons between rotational (R) and continuous (C) stocking in livestock production (both on individual animal and per-hectare basis) are shown in the 
last two columns. R = C indicates that no significant differences were found between stocking methods; R > C, that response to rotational stocking was greater 
than response to continuous stocking; and C > R, that response to continuous stocking exceeded that of rotational stocking. 2 E(+) indicates endophyte-infected 
tall fescue; E[-), endophyte-free tall fescue. 3 B indicates bovine; O, ovine. 4 G indicates growing; DO, dam and offspring; E, ewes; and L, lambs. 5 V indicates 
variable stocking rates (different stocking rates used for continuously and rotationaily stocked treatments); S, same stocking rate was used for continuous and 
rotational stocking. 6 Multiple stocking rates were compared within each stocking method. 7 Phillip et al. (2001 ) analyzed and reported responses separately 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



No. of paddocks 
in rotation 


Pasture size, 
ha 


Stocking rate 
strategy 5 


Livestock production 
Per head Per hectare 


Reference 


5 


1 .3 to 1 .6 


V 


R=C R=C 


Lauriaultetal., 2005 


4 


16 


S 


R=C R=C 


Willmsetal., 2002 


6 and 9 


1.8 to 2.7 


s 6 


R = C 7 R = C 7 


Phillip et al., 2001 


8 


4.0 


s 


R=C R=C 


Lomasetal., 2000 


8 


0.81 


V 


R=C R=C 


Kuykendall et al., 1999b 


3 and 1 1 


0.68 


V 


R = C 8 R>C 8 
R=C R=C 


Aiken, 1998 


4 


0.81 


s 


R=C R=C 


Lehmkuhleretal., 1999 


2 and 3 


16 


s 


R=C R=C 


Hammond et al., 1997 


12 


16 


V 


R=C R>C 


Hoveland et al., 1997 




10 


3.7 


s 9 


C>R 9 R = C 9 
R > C at low SR R = C 

C>R 
R > C at high SR R = C 

R > Cat high SR 


Poppet al., 1997a 


3 


3.9 


V 


C>R R>C 


Hafley, 1996 




8 


1.6 


V 


R>C Yl: R = C 
Y2: R > C 

Y1:C>R R = C 
Y2: R = C 


Thomas etal., 1995 


3 and 15 


0.3 


V 


R=C R=C 


Mathews etal., 1994b 


2 


1.8 


V 


R = C 10 R = C 
R = C 
R>C 


Volesky et al., 1994 


6 and 1 1 


2.5 to 4.5 


V 


R=C R>C 


Bertelsen etal., 1993 


7 


6.5 to 11.3 


s 


R=C R=C 


Chestnut et al., 1992 


10 


2.0 


s 


R = C 

R = C 
C>R 


Coffey etal., 1992 


8 


16.2 


s 


R = C 


Jung etal., 1985 


V 


R=C R>C 


4 


0.33 


v 


C > R C > R 


Hart etal., 1996 



within each month of the grazing season. Values represent average responses across the entire grazing season, based on interpretation of their reported monthly 
responses and SE. Additionally, responses only represent calf gains. Cow weight changes, though reported by the authors, were excluded from this analysis 
because of the difficulty in associating these data with economic returns. 8 ln Aiken (1998), responses were reported separately for the cool-season, and warm- 
season phases of the study. Upper values refer to the cool-season phase; lower values to the warm-season phase. 9 ln Popp et al. (1 997a), responses were 
analyzed and reported separately within each year from year 1-4 in order from top to bottom. 10 ln Volesky et al. (1994), responses were reported separately for 
early, mid-, and late season from top to bottom, respectively. Response to stocking method was similar for both SRs if SR response is not indicated. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



55 

4— 

o 



O 

i_ 
(U 
CL 



8u- 


^Rot>Cont lslCont>Rot 


70- 


i — i No Difference 






60- 
















50- 
















40- 
















30- 
















20- 




















10- 

n- 






1 




1 II 



All Studies 
(n=29) 



Same SR 
(n=13) 



Variable SR 
(n=16) 



FIGURE 3.4. Comparison of rotational stocking (Rot) 
and continuous stocking (Cont) on average daily 
gain by grazing livestock. The 29 studies (all stud- 
ies) were divided into those for which stocking rate 
was the same for both stocking methods (same SR) 
and those for which stocking rate was varied for 
both stocking methods based on some measure of 
forage height, mass, or allowance (variable SR). 



differences in average daily gain. It has already 
been shown that rotational and continuous 
stocking rarely differ in average daily gain 
within the typical range of stocking rates used 
in most grazing experiments, so it is logical that 
experiments using the same stocking rate for 
both continuous and rotational stocking rarely 
show differences in gain per ha (Fig. 3.5). 

In contrast, when a variable stocking rate 
is used, the researcher adjusts stocking rate 
periodically to maintain a specific pasture 
characteristic at the same level on both 
treatments. If one stocking method results in 
greater forage accumulation or more efficient 
utilization of forage mass, then increased 
stocking rate is needed on that treatment in 
order to maintain the same sward state. This 
may allow greater gain per ha to occur on 
pastures with greater forage accumulation 
or higher efficiency of utilization of forage 
mass, even if average daily gain is not different 
between treatments. 

An important limitation of most research 
comparing stocking methods at the same 
stocking rate has been that only one stocking 
rate was imposed. The same stocking rates 
can be used effectively to compare stocking 
methods if animal performance response 
is measured at a range from quite low to 
quite high stocking rates. If forage quantity 
is greater on rotational pastures, then the 



relative advantage in production per animal for 
rotationally stocked pastures is expected to be 
small or nonexistent at low stocking rates but 
measureable at high stocking rates. This occurs 
because at high stocking rates the quantity 
advantage of rotational stocking has greatest 
impact on individual animal performance. 
Studies using this approach show advantages 
in average daily gain for rotational stocking at 
high stocking rates (Popp et al., 1997a; Gerrish, 
2000). 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Stocking Methods 

We conclude that average daily gain in 
the short term is generally not affected by 
stocking method, but in the long term, species 
composition may change with time due 
to stocking method and thus affect animal 
response. Most pastureland grazing trials are 
conducted for time periods of 3 yr or less that 
are not long enough to account for changes 
in species composition. The effect on gain per 
ha is less clear and appears to be confounded 
with grazing trial methodology. Studies that 
adjust stocking rate based on forage mass or 
forage allowance can account for differences in 
forage accumulation or efficiency of utilization 
of forage mass and are more likely to detect 
differences in gain per ha due to stocking 
method. Differences occurred in about 50% of 
the variable stocking rate studies, and in most 
cases rotational stocking was favored. 

Results of this pastureland review are in general 
agreement with those found by Briske et al. 
(2008) for rangeland, with the exception that 
the likelihood appears to be greater for an 
advantage in gain per ha for rotational stocking 
of pastureland than rangeland. One conclusion 
of Briske et al. (2008) was that "a continuation 
of costly grazing experiments adhering to 
conventional research protocols will yield 
little additional information." We agree 
that additional animal performance studies 
comparing stocking methods are unlikely to 
add significantly to our knowledge of plant 
and livestock responses unless special attention 
is given to specific sampling protocols and the 
studies are of greater duration. Additionally, 
these types of studies are warranted if they 
are done in conjunction with soil, water, 
and wildlife collaborators so that a more 
comprehensive set of longer-term responses can 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



be quantified, including many responses for 
which we currently have limited data. 

One striking difference for pastureland studies 
(Table 3.4) and those reported for rangeland 
(Briske et al., 2008) is the longest pastureland 
study was 4 yr, but most rangeland studies 
were at least 5 yr, with some extending as 
long as 25 yr. This is important because 1) 
environmental conditions can interact with 
grazing management such that multiyear 
studies are necessary and 2) management 
influences on pasture productivity are often 
cumulative across years. For example, increased 
gain per ha in a given year may be achieved 
simply by increasing stocking rate, which may 
not be sustainable over the long term. Likewise, 
strategies that improve plant health and vigor 
may take several years to result in appreciable 
increases in pasture productivity. 

Finally, benefits of rotational stocking have 
been the subject of much controversy over 
the years, and this conversation is likely to 
continue. Our assessment suggests that the 
greatest impacts of the choice of stocking 
method are likely to be number of animals 
that can be supported on the pasture and, 
in the long term, the species composition 
of the sward. These effects are important, 
but in our judgment are less important than 
proper management of grazing intensity by 
the land manager. Thus, the starting point in 
developing prescribed grazing practices for 
benefiting animal health and production is 
to understand the achievable goals for use of 
the available resources and then optimizing 
grazing intensity to accomplish them for the 
desired time period. 

SEASON OF GRAZING AND 
DEFERMENT 

Throughout much of the central and eastern 
USA, a variety of options are available 
to extend the grazing season. Somewhat 
surprisingly, however, a paucity of information 
is encountered in the literature regarding 
animal performance responses to season of 
forage use. The main systems that incorporate 
season of use as a primary factor are stockpiled 
and complementary forage systems, particularly 
those designed to utilize both cool- and warm- 
season forage species during the pasturing 
season. 



Stockpiled Forage Systems 

A long-accepted management practice (Taylor 
and Templeton, 1976) of stockpiling tall fescue 
is the most common strategy for extending 
the grazing season in mid-latitude states of 
the Midwestern and eastern USA (Collins 
and Balasko, 1981b). Utilization of stockpiled 
forages represents a substantial reduction in 
feed costs compared with harvested forages 
because there is no need for mechanical 
harvesting and handling (Hitz and Russell, 
1998; Lalman et al, 2000). There is evidence 
that livestock performance on grazed, 
stockpiled forages exceeds that of the same 
forages when harvested (Allen et al., 1992a). 
Cows grazing stockpiled tall fescue-alfalfa 
or smooth bromegrass— red clover in Iowa 
were able to maintain greater or equal body 
weight and condition scores, but consumed 
between 1030 and 1070 fewer kg cow 1 of 
stockpiled forage than cows in drylot (Hitz 
and Russell, 1998). They attributed this partly 
to improvements in diet quality afforded by 
opportunities for selective grazing within the 
stockpiled, as compared with the harvested 
forages. 

One potential mitigating factor with respect 
to livestock response on stockpiled tall fescue 
is the degree of endophyte infestation. Indeed, 
part of the interest in using tall fescue for 
fall/winter forage in stockpiled systems is 
the recognition that endophyte toxicity will 



100 

90 

£80 

^ 70 

55 60 

50 

1 40 

^ 30 
a> 

a- 20 

10 



I No Difference 



I Rot > Cont 



1 



I Cont > Rot 



al 



All Studies 
(n=26) 



Same SR 
(n=12) 



Variable SR 
(n=14) 



FIGURE 3.5. Comparison of rotational stocking (Rot) 
and continuous stocking (Cont) effects on gain per 
ha by grazing livestock. The 26 studies (all studies) 
were divided into those for which stocking rate was 
the same for both stocking methods (same SR) and 
those for which stocking rate was varied for both 
stocking methods based on some measure of for- 
age height, mass, or allowance (variable SR). 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



Varying herbage mass and 
color of "Wrangler" bermuda- 
grass show distribution of urine 
in a sward grazed by mares 
at a stocking rate of 2.3 head 
ha" 1 . Photo by Charles Dough- 
erty, University of Kentucky. 



be less in cooler seasons. However, results of 
studies evaluating the influence of endophyte 
presence in stockpiled fescue systems are 
mixed. Endophyte presence decreased gains 
of steers grazing stockpiled fescue (Beconi et 
al., 1995), and cows with calves lost weight 
more rapidly when grazing stockpiled tall 
fescue with high (89%) than with low (20%) 
endophyte levels (Curtis and Kallenbach, 
2007). However, in both of these studies, 
differences were ameliorated after cattle were 
removed from tall fescue and the experimental 
groups were treated similarly. 

No effect of endophyte infestation level 
was detected for calf gain, either during or 
subsequent to the stockpile phase (Curtis 
and Kallenbach, 2007). Similarly, average 
daily gain of growing cattle was similar when 
grazing endophyte-free, endophyte-infected, 
or novel-endophyte stockpiled tall fescue in 
winter (Drewnoski et al., 2009). However, 
animal grazing days and weight gain per ha 
were greater with endophyte-free tall fescue 
than with either of the other forages. In 
Georgia average daily gain of yearling heifers 
grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue was 
lower than when grazing novel-endophyte 
tall fescue in autumn through spring, but 
equal in summer (Franzluebbers et al., 2009). 
Due to seasonal changes in stocking density, 
gain per ha was lower with endophyte- 




infected than with novel-endophyte tall 
fescue in spring and autumn only, and was 
greater with endophyte-infected tall fescue in 
the summer. 

Based on limited data from supplementation 
studies of cattle grazing stockpiled tall 
fescue, protein is not limiting for beef cattle 
production. In a study using a supplement of 
either nondegraded protein or an isocaloric 
control for primiparous heifers on stockpiled 
tall fescue, the body condition score, body 
weight, calf weight, milk production, and 
postpartum interval were not affected (Strauch 
et al, 2001). Improved weight gains and body 
condition scores of heifers grazing stockpiled 
endophyte-infected tall fescue were achieved by 
supplementing with whole cottonseed (Poore et 
al., 2006), but these responses were likely due 
to energy from the cottonseed, rather than to 
protein. 

Though considerable research has been done 
on the quality and forage yield of other forages 
for stockpiled fall and/or winter grazing (Davis 
et al, 1987; Lalman et al, 2000; Mislevy and 
Martin, 2007; Dierking et al, 2008), a lack of 
information is seen in the refereed literature on 
animal responses with these forages. 

Complementary Forage Systems 

Complementary forage systems are those 
that capitalize on forages having yield and 
forage quality distributions different from the 
dominant forages in a region. Thus, in regions 
in which warm-season grasses dominate, cool- 
season species are utilized to extend the grazing 
season and increase animal production (Vogel 
et al, 1993; Moore et al., 1995; Fontaneli 
et al, 2000; Volesky and Anderson, 2007). 
Alternatively, warm-season forages are often 
planted to complement dominant cool-season 
species that have low productivity in summer 
(Belesky and Fedders, 1995). 

Improvements in cow-calf productivity and 
enterprise profitability have been observed 
when cultivated pastures, double-cropped with 
cool- and warm-season species, were included 
in a bermudagrass-based forage system (Bagley 
et al, 1987). In a comparison of four different 
year-long forage systems for stocker cattle 
production based primarily on cool-season 
species, improved gain was seen per ha and per 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



steer, increased number of stocking days, and 
reduced need for stored forage for a system that 
included a complementary perennial warm- 
season forage component (Allen et al, 2000). 

Animal performance is not always improved 
by use of complementary forages. In Georgia 
there was no apparent benefit to using a 
complementary forage system compared to 
bermudagrass alone (Brown et al., 2001; Brown 
and Brown, 2002). Milk production and calf 
average daily gain in cow-calf production were 
greater with systems based on bermudagrass 
than on tall fescue, and intermediate with a 
complementary forage system that utilized 
bermudagrass from June to October and tall 
fescue from November to May. 

Factors other than forage species can influence 
the relative efficiencies of forage systems. 
Management strategies that influence forage 
quantity or quality across time can affect 
animal response within a seasonal-use system. 
In annual pastures, effects of deferment on 
animal production were dependent on stocking 
rate, length of deferment, and initial plant 
density (Smith and Williams, 1976). In one 
year of three, time of year was associated with 
decreased forage intake within heavily and 
continuously stocked pastures, but not for 
lighter stocking rates, nor within rotationally 
stocked pastures (Popp et al., 1997a, 1997b). 
Even differences among cultivars in distribution 
of yield and forage quality across the growing 
season can be sufficient to warrant differing 
recommendations for season of use (Redfearn 
etal., 2002). 

The relative effectiveness of a given forage for 
seasonal use depends on the rates and timing 
of fertilization (Collins and Balasko, 1981a; 
Vines et al, 2006; Guretzky et al., 2008). 
Furthermore, fertilization strategies will have 
a large influence on the input costs of various 
systems and effects on the environment and 
ecosystem (Wood et al., Chapter 5, this 
volume) . 

The sheer complexity of forage systems makes 
it difficult to anticipate how overall system 
efficiency will be affected by management. 
For example, forage systems that improved 
average daily gain of stocker cattle also resulted 
in lower forage production, requiring higher 



use of conserved forages (Allen et al., 1992a). 
Growth and carcass quality responses of cattle 
on forage-based finishing systems were more 
responsive to forage fed during the wintering 
phase than to forage fed during the subsequent 
finishing phase (Allen et al., 1996). These 
types of responses cannot be predicted from 
forage yield and nutritive value studies alone. 
Well-designed animal performance studies 
conducted for a sufficient time period are 
critical for understanding the relationships and 
real applicability of forage systems to a given 
region. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Season of Grazing and Deferment 

In most environments one finds seasons when 
forage quantity and quality limitations can be 
mitigated by stockpiling regionally important 
forages. This is an important prescribed 
grazing strategy to extend the grazing season, 
reduce cost of production and improve animal 
health and performance. Development of 
year-round complementary forage systems 
that take advantage of cool- and warm-season 
species is an important element in achieving 
desired levels of animal performance and 
reducing costs. These systems also contribute 
to ecosystems services that can be achieved 
by maintaining plant cover and growth in the 
sward for as much of the year as possible. 

TYPE AND CLASS OF LIVESTOCK 

The utilization of pasture to support more than 
one species of animal has been purported to 
increase individual animal performance, yield 
of livestock product per unit land area, and 
ecosystem stability (Walker, 1994). The focus is 
on the first two of these assertions. 

The conceptual basis underlying the grazing 
of multiple species on the same land area 
derives from the competitive exclusion 
principle (Hardin, 1960), which states 
that two species cannot both successfully 
occupy the same ecological niche. Thus, in 
natural settings, different species of grazing 
animals occupying the same area will 
occupy different niches, particularly with 
respect to their dietary selection behaviors. 
Differences in ingestive anatomy and 
grazing behavior among livestock species 
and their relationship to diet selection were 
described earlier in the chapter. Because these 



u 



Well-designed 

animal 

performance 

studies conducted 

for a sufficient 

time period 

are critical for 

understanding the 

relationships' 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



There is no clear 
picture emerging: 
...sometimes a 
grazer benefits 
and sometimes 
a browser. 



behaviors permit more complete utilization 
of the existing forage base, it is theoretically 
possible for a given area to support a greater 
combined stocking rate of multiple species 
compared with the stocking rate of either 
species grazing alone. 

In a broad sense, interactions among 
comingling herbivores can be described as 
competitive, supplementary, or complementary 
(Kinyua and Njoka, 2001). These interactions 
include competition for limited forage 
resources (competitive relationship), no 
dietary overlap (supplementary relationship), 
or the actions of one (or both) benefits the 
forage quantity or nutritive value for the other 
(complementary). Other potential mechanisms 
for interactions exist, including effects on 
parasite load, or by one animal species utilizing 
plant species that are potentially toxic to the 
other. Little research on multispecies grazing 
is available from pastures of the USA, so the 
following review is supplemented by research 
conducted elsewhere. 

Individual Animal Performance 

Across a range of stocking rates and 
sheep:cattle ratios, mixed grazing improved 
lamb gains by an average of 7% and cattle 
gains by an average of 1 1 % (Nolan and 
Connolly, 1989). This occurred in the 
presence of an average increase in stocking 
rate of about 2%, indicating the presence of 
a complementary relationship that benefited 
both species. In Texas cattle gains were 
greater when grazing with sheep and goats 
together than when grazed alone (Taylor, 
1985); likewise sheep gains were increased 
by grazing with cattle and goats, as was 
percent lamb crop and wool production. 
However, neither gain nor mohair 
production of goats was improved by co- 
grazing with cattle and sheep. Some reports 
document only minor effects on either 
species. In a 10-yr study in Utah, cattle gains 
were slightly depressed (1.01 vs. 1.04 kg 
d _1 ) when cattle co-grazed with sheep rather 
than grazing alone, whereas lamb gains were 
improved slightly (0.25 vs. 0.23 kg d _1 ) 
when grazing with cattle rather than alone 
(Olson et al., 1999). In Australia benefits of 
mixed-species grazing were typically noted 
for sheep, but not for cattle (Bennett et al., 
1970; Hamilton et al., 1976). 



The effects on individual animal performance 
were evaluated from a variety of co-grazing 
studies (Prins and Fritz, 2008), but the results 
did not support any broad generalizations. In 
contrast to ecological theory, which suggests 
that small grazers outcompete large ones and 
that large grazers facilitate small ones, they 
found that "There is no clear picture emerging: 
sometimes a small species benefits from a large 
one but sometimes a large one to the detriment 
of the smaller; sometimes a grazer benefits and 
sometimes a browser." 

Another mechanism for benefit is reduced 
parasite loads, particularly in sheep that are co- 
grazed with cattle (Brelin, 1979; Bown et al., 
1989). A decrease was seen in gastrointestinal 
helminths and greater weight gains in lambs 
that had co-grazed with sheep and cattle than 
in lambs grazing only with sheep (Jordan et 
al., 1988). In constrast, calves that had co- 
grazed with sheep had greater gastrointestinal 
helminth burdens and lower weight gains than 
those that had grazed only with cattle. In the 
United Kingdom, sequential grazing with cattle 
following sheep reduced lamb fecal egg counts, 
even with regular anthelmintic treatment 
(Marley et al., 2006). 

Greatest growth rates were observed in lambs 
from mixed-grazing systems, leading to the 
conclusion that most performance differences 
were due to factors other than parasite 
control. Likewise, differences in lamb growth 
rates with alternate cattle/sheep grazing were 
due to pasture quality, as no differences were 
seen in nematode burdens in lambs between 
alternate grazing vs. sheep-only systems 
(Moss et al., 1998). Thus, factors other than 
changes in forage mass and forage quality can 
mediate effects on animal performance with 
mixed-grazing systems even though most 
authors point to forage-mediated effects as the 
primary drivers. 

Production per Unit Land Area 

Although some reports suggest that increases in 
livestock weight gain per ha are almost assured 
with co-species grazing, the available literature 
shows a more complex picture. For example, at 
a medium stocking rate, mixed-species grazing 
increased weight gain per ha by 16% above 
cattle-only grazing (Dickson et al, 1981). 
Similarly, production per ha was greater with 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



sheep or mixed-species grazing than with cattle 
alone (Olson et al., 1999). Conversely, grazing 
sheep and goats together did not increase 
productivity per ha, and in a drought year, 
dramatic weight loss was experienced by sheep 
grazing with goats, as compared with sheep 
alone (Wilson and Mulham, 1980). 

In a review of the literature, there was no 
consistent pattern of response of livestock 
production per ha to co-species grazing (Prins 
and Fritz, 2008). In six of seven studies reported, 
gain per ha with combined sheep/cattle grazing 
was greater than with cattle alone. However, in 
only one of four studies were combined-species 
gains greater than gains reported for sheep 
alone. Further, in only one of three studies did 
co-grazing goats and cattle result in greater gain 
per ha than grazing cattle alone. In none of 
three studies where sheep and goat co-grazing 
were evaluated was gain per ha improved by co- 
grazing as opposed to single-species grazing. 

Some observers suggest that factors that 
can influence the competitive balance 
between forage species can alter the potential 
influence of co-species grazing on livestock 
productivity. Drawing general conclusions 
seems premature, and additional research is 
required to better understand the biological 
and ecological mechanisms at play. Though 
some efforts have been made, much more 
remains to be done, particularly on temperate 
pastures in the USA. 

Experimental design and appropriate data 
collection are critical in co- and multispecies 
grazing studies because of difficulties in 
determining substitution equivalents between 
different species. Care must be taken to ensure 
that any observed increases in gain per ha from 
combining animal species are not simply a 
function of increased stocking rate. In other 
words, the research needs to ensure that a 
similar increase in gain per ha would not occur 
simply by addition of animals of the same 
species. 

Substituting one animal species for another 
based on actual weight is quite common in the 
existing literature, even though it is generally 
recognized that animal unit equivalents will 
be more closely aligned with metabolic body 
weight than with absolute body weight (Allen 



et al., 201 1). Stocking rates based on actual 
live weight can be effectively used when 
dealing with a single species, but utilizing 
a metabolic body weight-based animal unit 
becomes critical when dealing with animal 
species having large variation in individual 
weights. 

Designing Multispecies Grazing 
Systems 

Strategies have been identified to help quantify 
degree of dietary overlap (e.g., Abrams, 1980; 
Squires, 1982), yet it is difficult to establish 
specific recommendations of animal species, 
ratios, and numbers based on "degree of 
dietary overlap" (Scarnecchia, 1985, 1986). 
Determining these is complex and optimal 
solutions will differ depending on management 
goals. In addition, other management factors 
must be considered such as whether it is 
desirable to graze different animal species 
sequentially, rather than simultaneously, 
in order to allow a greater degree of 
species-specific management, e.g., mineral 
supplementation. Such strategies will have 
different effects on system productivity. 

Ultimately models may be developed to allow 
reasonable prediction of system performance 
under single- vs. mixed-species grazing 
strategies (Scarnecchia, 1990). However, at 
present, we are dependent on empirically 
established relationships that will necessarily be 
constrained to specific forages and geographic 
and climactic conditions. A need exists for 
research to establish these relationships and 



Factors including water sources, 
shade sources, topography, 
fencing, salt and feed sources, 
and season affect the distribu- 
tion of livestock on pasturelands 
resulting in unequal distribution 
of nutrients and varying inten- 
sity and frequency of grazing. 
Photo by Carmen Agouridis, 
University of Kentucky. 




CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



animal production 
responses to 
mixed-species 
grazing are 
affected by 
complex 
interactions 
among forage, 
animal, 
environmental, 
and management 
factors" 



provide the data necessary for modeling efforts, 
particularly on pastureland in the USA. 

Byington (1985) identified opportunities for 
increased utilization of multispecies grazing in 
the eastern USA. These included increased costs 
associated with forage production, perception 
by producers of the need for change, availability 
of technology and knowledge for design and 
implementation of multispecies grazing systems, 
and availability of markets for livestock products 
from such systems. In the 27 yr since Byington 
documented these factors, the "opportunities" 
they represent have increased, yet one still finds 
a lack of robust, systems-oriented research 
to provide livestock producers with the 
essential knowledge of how to best implement 
multispecies grazing practices. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Type ana Class of Livestock 

The direction and magnitude of animal 
production responses to mixed-species 
grazing are affected by complex interactions 
among forage, animal, environmental, and 
management factors, all of which restrict 
the ability to predict system performance. 
Conducting meaningful research in this 
area is challenging and expensive, but it can 
be accomplished when careful attention is 
paid to experimental design to eliminate 
potentially faulty assumptions, especially as 
they relate to preconceptions regarding proper 
species substitution ratios and stocking rates. 
Ultimately, reasonable prediction of system 
output will depend on sophisticated modeling 
efforts that are based on quality field research. 

DISTRIBUTION OF LIVESTOCK IN 
THE LANDSCAPE 

Generally, effects of grazing distribution on 
animal production are indirect, mediated 
through alterations in the type and quantity of 
forage on offer, and possibly through energetic 
costs associated with foraging behavior, e.g., 
distance traveled. Because of the large effects 
of grazing, treading, and manure and urine 
deposition by herbivores on vegetation structure 
and botanical composition, a primary effect of 
manipulating livestock distribution is alteration 
in the spatiotemporal diversity of pasture forage 
mass (Rook and Tallowin, 2003) and botanical 
biodiversity (Ash et al., 2004; Sanderson et 
al., 2004). Theoretically, productivity should 



be maximized when grazing pressure is evenly 
distributed, yet few data relate the spatial 
distribution of animals within a pasture with 
animal performance. Thus, emphasis is often 
placed at the level of forage production, which 
is reviewed elsewhere in this chapter. 

Some management practices to alter spatial 
distribution of animals within pastures, e.g., 
fencing and location of salt or supplemental 
feed, indirectly affect animal health and 
performance through controlled access to 
specific forage types or altering distance 
traveled. Literature regarding these indirect 
effects on animal performance is limited. For 
other strategies, e.g., provision of alternate 
water sources and adequacy of shade, effects 
are more direct. Although the literature does 
allow some generalizations to be made, the data 
are sufficiently limited to preclude quantitative 
prediction. 

Fencing and Pasture Size 

Subdividing large pastures with fences often 
increases the uniformity of pasture utilization, 
although a point exists at which further 
division presents no additional advantage 
(Heady and Child, 1999). Little research is 
at hand to provide quantitative relationships 
between pasture size and uniformity of use. 
Grazing distribution and animal performance 
were evaluated in Wyoming pastures ranging 
from 24 ha to 207 ha (Hart et al., 1993). 
The 207-ha pasture was designed to create 
heterogeneity in grazing utilization, in part 
by including a maximum distance to water 
of 5.0 km compared with a maximal 1.6-km 
distance in the small pastures. Uniformity of 
pasture utilization was improved, daily distance 
traveled by cattle was less, and cattle gains 
were greater in the small, as compared with 
the large pasture. Unfortunately these effects 
of pasture size cannot be separated from the 
effects of distance from water. In an effort to 
better understand the influence of pasture 
size, Hacker et al. (1988) evaluated crested 
wheatgrass pastures ranging from 1 ha to 8 
ha in size. No difference was found in overall 
pasture utilization, uniformity of utilization, or 
animal weight gain. 

Alternate Water Sources 

The importance of providing alternate sources 
of drinking water, i.e., in addition to existing 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



natural water bodies, varies depending on levels 
of total dissolved solids, minerals, microbial 
contamination, and other water quality factors. 
Thus, it is difficult to make generalizations on 
benefits of alternate water sources. Nonetheless, 
several studies have demonstrated the potential 
for water source to affect a variety of animal 
health parameters. 

Both Cryptosporidia and Campylobacter can 
cause scours in young animals (Merck, 2008) 
and can be transmitted via drinking water. 
Starkey et al. (2006) found a 37% increase 
in Cryptosporidium infection in young 
cattle drinking from springs or streams, as 
compared with well water. The difference 
was likely associated with lower levels of fecal 
contamination in well water. In the United 
Kingdom, the number of bovine fecal pats 
within a 5-m radius of a surface water sampling 
site was positively related to the concentration 
of Campylobacter spp. in the water source 
(Kemp et al., 2005), suggesting that increased 
animal presence in and around riparian areas 
could potentially facilitate spread of disease. 
Work from the Netherlands indicated that 
dairy cattle drinking from water sources other 
than public water supplies (originating either 
from wells or from streams) had an increased 
incidence of Staphylococcus aureus-medizted 
mastitis (Schukken et al., 1990, 1991). 

A few studies have linked differences in animal 
growth performance with varying water supply 
sources. In eastern Oregon, gains by cows and 
calves were increased across a 42-d grazing 
period (in each of 2 yr) by providing trace- 
mineralized salt and water sources away from a 
stream (Porath et al., 2002). Although part of 
the response could have been due to provision 
of trace-mineralized salt, the authors suggest 
that improvements in performance were 
likely associated with more uniform grazing 
distribution in pastures with water sources 
away from, and other than, the stream. In other 
research, suckling calves that were provided 
clean water gained 9% more than those 
drinking directly from ponds, and yearling 
heifers provided with clean water gained 20% 
to 23% more than those drinking pond water 
(Willms et al., 2002). 

Treating "dugout" water by aeration or 
coagulation/chlorination significantly 



reduced Escherichia coli load, as well 
as concentrations of some mineral 
constituents, and increased dissolved oxygen 
concentrations (Lardner et al., 2005). Steer 
gains averaged about 0.1 kg d _1 greater with 
treated as compared with untreated water. 
These responses occurred in the absence of 
increased parasite load, which, when present, 
would be expected to increase the benefits 
of water treatment. Thus, direct benefits 
to animal health and performance can be 
derived from providing clean water sources, 
particularly when levels of bacterial or 
protozoal contamination are high. 

Provision of alternate water sources may not 
always attract animals away from surface 
waters. Off-stream water sources served as 
an attractor for cattle when the temperature- 
humidity index was moderate, but failed to 
decrease time spent in riparian zones when 
the index was high (Franklin et al., 2009). 
This suggests that when surface waters can 
contribute to thermoregulation, cattle were less 
likely to be attracted away from them. 

Shade 

Heat stress can adversely affect animal 
production, primarily by decreasing feed 
intake (Nienaber et al., 1999; Nienaber and 
Hahn, 2007). Thermoregulatory behaviors 
are important in grazing animals since cattle 
will seek out shade and can increase the time 
spent under shade without necessarily affecting 
grazing time (Tucker et al., 2008), although at 
least one study showed that time spent under 
shade did reduce grazing time (Coleman et al., 
1984). Little information is available directly 
relating performance of grazing animals to 
shade provision. 

Shade benefited sperm motility and 
morphology in bulls exposed to warm ambient 
temperatures (Coleman et al, 1984). In feedlot 
and free-stall housing studies, shade reduced 
respiration rates and body temperatures of 
cattle (Brown-Brandl et al., 2005; Eigenberg et 
al., 2005; Kendall et al., 2007) and increased 
average daily gain (Mitlohner et al., 2002). In 
Australia shade acted as a protectant from the 
photosensitization and hyperthermic effects 
of toxins derived from Hypericum perforatum 
that was orally dosed to sheep (Bourke, 
2003). Susceptibility to heat stress of animals 



u 



...several 

studies have 

demonstrated 

the potential for 

water source to 

affect a variety 

of animal health 

parameters. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



. . . key 

management 
factors include 
minimizing 
distance to 
water, providing 
alternatives to 
surface water to 
increase drinking 
water quality, 
and providing 
shade. 



grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue is of 
great significance to livestock producers in the 
southeastern USA (Paterson et al, 1995), and 
this effect may be mitigated partially by shade. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Distribution of Livestock in the 
Landscape 

There are few data relating spatial distribution 
of animals in a pasture with animal 
performance, but it is likely that distance to 
water is more important than pasture size with 
respect to optimizing distribution of grazing 
and animal performance. Direct benefits to 
animal health and performance can be derived 
from providing alternate water sources, but 
this response is primarily related to water 
quality and is most likely to occur when 
levels of bacterial or protozoal contamination 
are high in existing water sources. Shade is 
a key factor affecting livestock distribution, 
and although direct links between shade and 
improved animal performance are limited, well- 
documented cases are found of improvement 
in animal comfort and well-being from shade. 
Thus, from an animal health and production 
perspective, key management factors include 
minimizing distance to water, providing 
alternatives to surface water to increase 
drinking water quality, and providing shade. 

PURPOSE 3: IMPROVE OR MAINTAIN 
SURFACE AND/OR SUBSURFACE 
WATER QUALITY AND QUANTITY 

Nutrients, sediment, and pathogens from 
pastures must be transported to sensitive 
locations to affect water quality. Greatest risk of 
transport is associated with highly permeable 
soils, severe slopes, insufficient vegetative cover, 
high water tables, and proximity to streams and 
wetlands. 

GRAZING INTENSITY 

Similar to forage characteristics and animal 
performance, the most important grazing 
management variable associated with ecosystem 
health of upland and riparian areas is grazing 
intensity (Van Poollen and Lacey, 1979; 
cited by Mosely et al., 1999). Challenges to 
reviewing the literature describing the effects 
of grazing intensity on water quality and 
quantity include standardizing the unit of 
measure for grazing intensity, defining the 



period of stocking, and noting the stocking 
method used (Trimble and Mendel, 1995; 
Bilotta et al., 2007). Evans (1998) argues for 
defining grazing intensity in terms of "damage 
it does to the landscape" rather than in terms 
of forage characteristics. Others have suggested 
that grazing intensity be defined based on 
factors such as hoof impacts and urine and 
manure deposition and not solely on vegetation 
consumption (Bilotta et al., 2007). 

Water Quality 

Nutrients. In continuously stocked swards in 
Ohio, nitrate-nitrogen (NO^-N), mineral-N, 
and total P in runoff did not increase with 
grazing intensity, but organic-N and total 
organic carbon (C) levels did increase (Owens 
et al, 1989). In Nebraska the presence of 
grazing resulted in increased N0 3 -N and 
soluble-P concentrations in runoff and greater 
chemical oxygen demand (Schepers et al., 
1982). Increasing grazing intensity increased 
levels of ammonium-nitrogen (NH 4 -N), 
N0 3 -N, total P, total organic C, and chemical 
oxygen demand in runoff. Increased vegetative 
cover with decreased grazing intensity can 
reduce nutrient movement into waterways 
(CAST, 2002). More details on nutrient losses 
are covered in Chapter 5 (Wood et al., this 
volume). 

Sediment. Few studies have examined 
the effect of grazing intensity on sediment 
discharge to streams, despite the fact that 
sediment is a leading cause of impairment in 
the nation's streams (EPA, 2009). Increased 
concentrations of sediment in runoff occurred 
with increased grazing intensity, and these 
increases resulted in greater predicted values 
for NH 4 -N, total Kjeldahl N, total organic 
C, and chemical oxygen demand (Schepers et 
al., 1982). Three stocking rates (1.5, 2.0, and 
3.0 animal units ha" 1 ) were studied in Texas 
pastures, and the highest stocking rate led to 
the greatest amount of sediment loss of nearly 
1500 kg ha 1 (Warren et al., 1986). In Ohio 
sediment concentrations in runoff increased 
with grazing intensity, and these data support 
the recommendation to exclude livestock from 
riparian areas (Owens et al., 1989). 

Pathogens. Although research links the 
presence of cattle to increased levels of fecal 
coliforms in streams (Doran and Linn, 1979; 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Tiedemann et al., 1987; Howell et al., 1995), 
studies examining pathogens or pathogen 
indicator levels in relation to grazing intensity 
are rare; for pasturelands, none was identified. 
Increasing stocking rate reduced soil microbial 
biomass and N mineralization potential 
(Banerjee et al., 2000). Because grazing 
intensity can impact soil microbial populations, 
it is reasonable to expect pathogenic 
populations would be similarly affected. 

Hydrology 

Few studies have investigated the relationship 
between grazing intensity and water quantity. 
Most studies have focused on how soil 
compaction and soil structural properties alter 
infiltration rates (Bilotta et al., 2007). No 
study was found that measured direct changes 
in runoff volume or timing; however, it is 
expected that such differences exist based on 
results from infiltration studies. Infiltration 
studies showed that soil structural changes 
associated with grazing increased with stocking 
rate. As stocking rate increases, the animal 
traffic over any particular area increases and 
leads to compaction and further breakdown 
of soil structure and water-stable aggregates. 
Infiltration rates decreased as grazing intensity 
increased from "moderate" to "heavy," but they 
were not different when the change was from 
"light" to "moderate" (Gifford and Hawkins, 
1978; Usman, 1994; Trimble and Mendel, 
1995). 

In Texas the heaviest stocking rate produced 
the lowest infiltration rates for the first 30 min 
of a simulated storm, but no differences were 
detected between the light (60% of heavy) and 
moderate (80% of heavy) stocking rates. After 
the first 30 min there was no further difference 
in infiltration rate among stocking rates 
(Warren et al., 1986). Difficulties in drawing 
conclusions from the literature regarding the 
"magnitude of the relationship between soil 
damage and stocking rate" have been attributed 
to nonstandardized measurement techniques 
and parameters, different livestock types, 
climate, simulated versus natural rainfall, and 
prior land use differences (Bilotta et al., 2007). 

Stream Morphology 

Research into the effects of grazing intensity on 
the morphology of streams in pasturelands is 
limited. Seasonal adjustment of stocking rate 



based on visual observation of forage mass was 
recommended as a best management practice 
to counter streambank erosion in central 
Kentucky (Agouridis et al., 2005a), particularly 
during mid- to late summer when forage mass 
was low and the cooling waters of the stream 
attracted animals. In New Zealand grazing 
impacts were greater on smaller streams due 
largely to their greater accessibility to livestock, 
since streambanks were closer to water level 
and water depth was shallower (Williamson 
et al., 1992). The authors noted that stream 
morphology was impacted on smaller streams 
(< 2-m width) when grazing was intensive and 
the streamside soils were wet. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Grazing Intensity 

Despite intuitive statements regarding the 
importance of grazing intensity as a controlling 
variable in ecosystem health (measured as 
water quality, water quantity, and riparian and 
watershed function) (Van Poolen and Lacey, 
1979; Mosely et al., 1999), little research 
has been conducted in this area. Increases in 
grazing intensity have been linked to increased 
nutrient, sediment, and fecal coliform loading; 
streambank erosion; and soil compaction that 
results in decreased infiltration rates (Table 
3.5). Thresholds for grazing intensity, above 
which substantial environmental impacts occur, 
have not been established. 

A beneficial first step would be to conduct an 
evaluation of grazing intensity in pasturelands, 
similar to that done by Trimble and Mendel 
(1995), to better determine these thresholds. 
Since research regarding the environmental 
impacts of grazing intensity is scarce, other 
grazing studies should be examined to glean 
relevant information to construct a database for 
analysis, including those where the focus was 
on stocking duration and stocking method. In 
humid areas, of which pasturelands dominate, 
precipitation is of a much greater magnitude 
than in many rangelands and, as such, is in 
excess of infiltration capacity more often than 
in other climates of the USA (Trimble and 
Mendel, 1995). As such, the grazing effects on 
soils, such as reduction in infiltration capacity, 
will likely exert a significant influence over the 
hydrograph. Research is needed on effects of 
grazing intensity on soil characteristics coupled 
with water infiltration and runoff. 



u 



Increases in 

grazing intensity 

have been linked 

to increased 

nutrient, 

sediment, and 

fecal coliform 

loading; 

streambank 

erosion; and soil 

compaction 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



limited research 
has been 
conducted 
to evaluate 
the effects of 
rotational vs. 
continuous 
stocking on 
environmental 
responses 



STOCKING METHOD 

Current grazing management practices are 
primarily designed to improve forage and 
animal performance with the overarching goal 
of increasing profit (Fitch and Adams, 1998; 
Bellows, 2001). Yet grazing management may 
also serve as a means to improve environmental 
responses such as water quality and quantity, 
riparian health, and watershed function. When 
riparian areas are grazed, continuous stocking 
at high grazing intensities has been shown 
to adversely impact water quality, hydrology, 
stream morphology, and habitat (Schepers 
et al., 1982; Kauffman and Krueger, 1984; 
Belsky et al, 1999; Agouridis et al, 2005a). 
Rotational stocking may provide environmental 
benefits, but although a large volume of 
literature is available that describes forage and 
animal responses to stocking method, limited 
research has been conducted to evaluate the 
effects of rotational vs. continuous stocking on 
environmental responses. Understanding the 
potential environmental benefits of alternative 
stocking management practices will be 
important in evaluating their overall use and 
effectiveness. 

Water Quality 

Surface Waters. Mean total-P in runoff 
was 34% greater with continuous stocking to 
maintain a 5-cm height than with rotational 
stocking leaving a 5-cm post-graze stubble, 
and 3.7 times greater than rotational stocking 
leaving a 10-cm post-graze stubble (Haan et 
al., 2006). The latter did not differ from a 
non-grazed sward. Percent surface cover by 
forage was correlated negatively with total-P 
load in runoff, leading to the conclusion that 
pasture management should ensure sufficient 
residual forage mass to reduce the kinetic 
energy of rainfall. Similarly, a literature review 
showed that vegetation cover was greater, on 
average, using rotational than continuous 
stocking, indicating that a change in stocking 
method could have long-term implications for 
water quality (Earl and Jones, 1996). These 
results do not implicate continuous stocking, 
in general, as a water quality hazard; instead 
they indicate that this method in combination 
with high grazing intensity reduces cover and 
endangers surface waters. The nearly three- 
fold lower P in runoff associated with leaving 
10- vs. 5-cm of stubble under rotational 
stocking (Haan et al., 2006) supports the 



concept that grazing intensity is the key factor 
affecting this response. 

Kuykendall et al. (1999a) found total 
Kjeldahl-N, ammonium, total P, and dissolved- 
reactive-P in surface water was similar for 
rotational and continuous stocking of pastures 
receiving broiler litter additions. Results may 
not apply to pastures not receiving litter. 

Winter feeding areas on pastures have been 
associated with greater runoff, sediment, 
and P loads as compared with non-use areas 
leading to research in Ohio to evaluate 
continuous and rotational stocking methods 
over winter (Owens et al, 1997; Owens and 
Shipitalo, 2006). In the continuous method, 
cattle were fed hay in one pasture during the 
dormant period (November-April), while 
in the rotational method, cattle were rotated 
through pastures to eat stockpiled tall fescue 
and fed hay. Losses of total-N were 1.9 to 2.5 
times greater with the continuous as compared 
with the rotational method. Organic-N made 
up over 70% of the N transported in surface 
runoff from the continuous method. Like 
Haan et al. (2006) and Earl and Jones (1996), 
the authors noted less vegetative cover in the 
continuous than the rotational method (50 vs. 
- 100%). It should be noted that the rotational 
overwintering area had more area per cow 
(i.e., lower stocking rate) than the continuous 
overwintering area. 

Groundwater. Nitrogen, particularly N0 3 -N, 
is of concern with regard to groundwater. 
Rotational stocking of cattle was compared 
with hay production, both without fertilizer, 
for groundwater N0 3 -N concentrations in 
Ohio (Owens and Bonta, 2004). Within 
a 5-yr period, peak groundwater N0 3 -N 
concentrations decreased from levels greater 
than the EPA standard of 10 mg L' to less 
than 5 mg L" 1 for both practices. These 
results suggest that a livestock producer can 
achieve lower N0 3 -N losses and acceptable 
groundwater NO^-N concentrations under 
haying or rotational stocking with low or no 
N inputs, even in an area with previous high 
N loading. Based on this and other studies on 
eastern Ohio watersheds, the authors suggest 
that N inputs for grazing systems in this region 
should not exceed 100 kg N ha" 1 annually to 
maintain groundwater N0 3 -N concentrations 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



TABLE 3.5. Water quality, hydrology, and streambank morphology responses to grazing intensity. 



Response 1 


Response to increased 
grazing intensity 


Stocking rate 2 


Reference 


NO3-N, mineral-N, total P 


No change 


No livestock, 1 7 cows (26 ha) -1 summer only grazing, 
1 7 cows (26 ha) "' year-round grazing 


Owens etal., 1989 


Organic-N, TOC, 
sediment 


Increased 


No livestock, 1 7 cows (26 ha) "' summer only grazing, 
17 cows (26 ha) -1 year-round grazing 


Owens etal., 1989 


NO3-N 


Increased 


60% available forage utilization, 80% available 
forage utilization, and 80% available forage utilization 
with grain supplement (33% dry matter intake) 


Stout et al., 2000 


NO3-N, NH 4 -N, total P, 
soluble P, COD, TOC, 
sediment 


Increased 


No livestock, 35-40 cow-calf pairs (40 ha) "' 


Schepers et al., 1982 


Sediment loss 


Increased 


0.68, 0.51, and 0.32 ha All" 1 


Warren etal., 1986 


Soil microbial biomass, 
N mineralization potential 


Decreased 


2.2 and 1 .1 steers ha -1 


Banerjeeetal., 2000 


Infiltration rates 


Decreased 


0.65, 1.2, and 2.5 AUM ha- 1 


Trimble and Mendel, 
1995 


Infiltration rates 


Decreased 


0.34, 0.68, and 0.51 ha AIM 


Warren etal., 1986 


Streambank erosion 


Increased 


to 1 600 kg ha- 1 


Agouridis et al., 
2005a 



'TOC indicates total organic C; COD, chemical oxygen demand. 2 AU indicates animal unit; AUM, animal unit months. 



below 10 mg L~\ though this annual rate of N 
may be too high to allow lowering of existing 
high N0 3 -N levels in groundwater. Rates are 
regionally specific, as 200 kg N ha 1 yr 1 did 
not affect soil profile N0 3 -N water quality in 
bermudagrass pastures or hay fields in Georgia 
(Franzluebbers and Stuedemann, 2003b). 
Further, N0 3 -N leaching from bermudagrass 
hay fields was minimal when N was applied at 
< 90 kg N ha _1 growth period 1 (typically 3-4 
growth periods yr 1 ) in Florida (Woodard and 
Sollenberger, 2011). 

The effects of summer and winter rotational 
stocking practices on N0 3 -N and dissolved 
reactive-P were also studied (Owens et al., 
2008). Groundwater discharge from small 
watersheds affected the flow and water quality 
from larger watersheds. It was estimated that 
50% of the N0 3 -N loads and 30% of the 
dissolved reactive-P loads in the stream flow 
originated from groundwater. Examination 
of water quality trends prior to cessation of 
fertilizer application indicated that it would 
likely take several years for the effects of a 
change in grazing management to become 
measurable in terms of water quality. In karst 
terrain, subsurface drainage and nutrient 



transport to groundwater can be rapid. Several 
years may be required before past land uses are 
no longer influential, particularly with respect 
to soil nutrient concentrations (Zaimes et al, 
2008a). 

Sediment, Sediment loss from pastures can 
be influenced by ground cover, sward height, 
treading damage, surface slope, and soil 
moisture (Haan et al., 2006). Sediment loss 
from a continuously stocked sward maintained 
at a height of 5 cm was nearly twice that 
from a rotationally stocked treatment with 
a 5-cm post-graze sward height (Haan et 
al., 2006) because of greater average cover 
for rotational than continuous stocking. 
Maintaining good vegetative cover limited 
soil loss from pastureland in Ohio where 
cattle were overwintered (Owens et al., 1982; 
Owens et al., 1983b; Owens and Shipitalo, 
2009). Changing management on an area from 
rotational stocking in summer plus continuous 
overwinter stocking to summer-only rotational 
stocking reduced annual soil loss from 2.3 to 
0.15 Mg ha 1 (Owens et al., 1997). Sovell et al. 
(2000) compared rotationally and continuously 
stocked pastures in southeastern Minnesota 
and found that streams in continuously stocked 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



modifications 
to cattle 
management 
could reduce 
fecal coliform 
levels in shallow 
groundwater." 



pastures had higher turbidity levels than those 
in rotationally stocked sites. 

Pathogens. Few studies have examined the 
effect of stocking method on pathogenic 
organism levels either in surface water or 
in groundwater. Fecal coliform levels in 
Minnesota streams were greater within 
continuously than rotationally stocked pastures 
(Sovell et al., 2000). Although research on 
bacterial movement from pastures usually 
focuses on surface runoff, studies in karst 
terrain show surface water can rapidly move 
into springs and wells. In central Kentucky 
fecal bacteria populations frequently exceeded 
primary contact standards at all sites sampled 
(Howell et al, 1995). Fewer samples exceeded 
primary contact standards from pastures 
that were intensively grazed and then rested 
than from pastures stocked continuously. 
Therefore, modifications to cattle management 
could reduce fecal coliform levels in shallow 
groundwater. In West Virginia, successful 
forage management practices allowed for 
increased stocking rate, but also led to increased 
levels of fecal bacteria in groundwater (Boyer, 
2005). 

Hydrology 

Hydrograph shape is influenced by variables 
including soil compaction, upland and riparian 
vegetation, and stream morphology; all that can 
be influenced by grazing activity (Kauffman 
and Krueger, 1984; Agouridis et al, 2005a). 
However, few studies have examined effects 
of different stocking methods on hydrology. 
Although not statistically significant, Haan et 
al. (2006) showed that water infiltration rates 
ranked in order of rotationally stocked to a 
10-cm stubble height (67 mm tr 1 ), non-grazed 
(62 mm tr 1 ), rotationally stocked to a 5-cm 
stubble height (57 mm tr 1 ), and continuously 
stocked (55 mm tr 1 )- Subsequently, percentage 
of rainfall that became runoff was similar from 
non-grazed (6.4%) and rotationally stocked 
to 10-cm stubble height treatment (12.7%), 
but both had less runoff than did rotationally 
stocked to a 5-cm height (20.7%) and 
continuously stocked treatments (21.9%). 

In a multiyear study in eastern Ohio, a 
small watershed was rotationally stocked 
in the summer and used continuously as a 
wintering paddock (Owens et al., 1997). 



Runoff during both the summer and winter 
was higher than from an adjacent watershed 
that was stocked rotationally in summer only. 
Reduced vegetative cover during winter was 
an important factor causing increased runoff. 
Monthly runoff was greater with continuous 
than rotational stocking 75% of the time 
(Owens and Shipitalo, 2009). In Georgia, 
however, no difference was seen in annual 
surface runoff volume between pastures treated 
with broiler litter that were continuously or 
rotationally stocked year-round (Kuykendall et 
al., 1999a). 

Stream Morphology 

Numerous studies have shown that 
uncontrolled livestock grazing can negatively 
impact stream morphology (Kauffman and 
Krueger, 1984; Trimble, 1994; Owens et 
al., 1996; Agouridis et al., 2005b). In Iowa 
continuous, rotational, and intensive rotational 
(six or more paddocks, 1- to 7-d grazing 
period, 30- to 45-d rest period) stocking were 
compared (Zaimes et al., 2008b). Streambank 
erosion rates were not different among the 
treatments, but the intensive rotational 
treatment had a lower percentage of severely 
eroding streambanks than the other grazing 
treatments. Pastures with exclusion fencing 
had streambank erosion rates of 22 mm to 58 
mm yr _1 , while rates were 101 to 171 mm yr _1 
for continuous stocking, 104 to 122 mm yr 1 
for rotational stocking, and 94 to 170 mm yr" 1 
for intensive rotational stocking. Thus grazing 
increased streambank erosion. 

In Minnesota a higher percentage of suspended 
sediment occurred in the stream, and a 
higher percentage of exposed streambank 
soil was found for continuously compared 
with rotationally stocked sites (Sovell et al., 
2000). In Wisconsin, Lyons et al. (2000) 
measured lower amounts of streambank 
erosion and suspended sediment in the 
stream where intensive rotational stocking 
was practiced, compared with continuous 
stocking. They concluded that intensive 
rotational stocking could be substituted for 
development of riparian buffer strips when only 
streambank erosion and suspended sediment 
were considered. Similar conclusions were 
made in Minnesota if the grazed sites were 
managed in an environmentally sustainable 
manner (Magner et al., 2008). It is unlikely 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



that riparian benefits from changing from 
continuous to rotational stocking will be 
realized unless sufficient time is allocated for 
streambanks to recover and for establishment of 
riparian vegetation, particularly woody species 
(Fitch and Adams, 1998). 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Stocking Method 

The majority of a small number of studies 
indicate that rotational stocking is less 
detrimental to water quality, hydrology, 
and stream morphology than is continuous 
stocking (Table 3.6). A few studies indicated 
reduced ground cover from grazing can lead to 
increased runoff and lower quality of surface 
waters from grazed pastures. Accumulation 
of additional forage mass and ground cover 
during regrowth periods accounts for some of 
the benefits attributed to rotational stocking. 
However, additional research is needed to 
fill knowledge gaps, specifically on effects of 
vegetation characteristics (e.g., types, height, 
percent cover) on water quality and hydrology, 
on impact of grazing methods in karst areas 
and how to reduce such impacts (e.g., sinkhole 
protection), and the effects of stocking methods 
on reducing transfer of pathogenic organisms 
to waterways. 

The literature suggests a role for rotational 
stocking in protecting water quantity and 
quality. The choice of continuous or rotational 
stocking, however, is likely to be less important 
from an environmental perspective than 
ensuring that an appropriate stocking rate is 
maintained, season and duration of grazing in 
riparian areas are controlled, or even excluded 
depending on site conditions, and a sufficient 
riparian buffer is established and maintained to 
enhance water quality, streambank stability, and 
in-stream and riparian habitat. 

SEASON OF GRAZING 
AND DEFERMENT 

Pasturelands in the USA are largely located in 
humid regions in which annual precipitation 
amounts exceed annual evapotranspiration 
(Trimble and Mendel, 1995), resulting in 
periods of high runoff (Di and Cameron, 
2002). A large portion of US pasturelands 
receive more than 1000 mm of rainfall 
annually (NOAA, 2005) with spring months 
typically the wettest and late summer to early 



autumn months the driest. Periods of high 
soil saturation coupled with seasonal changes 
in water requirements of pasture species affect 
runoff or drainage volumes and constituent 
(e.g., N) transport rates (Owens et al, 1983a; 
Stout et al., 1998; Di and Cameron, 2002; 
Owens et al., 2003) as well as streambank 
stability (Scrimgeour and Kendall, 2002). 
Furthermore, the large presence of karst 
topography in pasturelands (Veni, 2002) may 
have management-specific implications with 
regards to water quality. Research is limited on 
environmental effects due to season and grazing 
deferment practices, particularly in light of the 
climatic and geologic characteristics associated 
with pasturelands. Such knowledge is vital to 
develop management strategies that minimize 
factors such as N0 3 -N leaching and enhance 
benefits such as biodiversity in pasturelands. 

Water Quality 

Nutrients. Season of grazing and deferment 
have significant effects on N0 3 -N leaching 
due to 1) accumulation of N0 3 -N in the 
soil coupled with high runoff or drainage, 
2) seasonal demands of plants, and 3) high 
levels and nonuniform waste dispersal of N 
by grazing livestock (Di and Cameron, 2002). 
For example, 60% to 90% of the N ingested 
by a cow is returned to the pasture, largely via 
urine, and is nonuniformly distributed (Haynes 
and Williams, 1993). These "patches" contain 
N levels well in excess of plant needs, thereby 
creating potential for N0 3 -N leaching when 
excess precipitation occurs. 

Timing grazing to coincide with increased 
nutrient demands from forage is one method 
to reduce the transport of excessive nutrients 
to surface and/or ground waters. Stout et al. 
(1997) examined N0 3 -N losses from seasonal 
urine deposits on cool-season pastures in 
Pennsylvania. Loss increased during the year 
from 18% of that deposited in spring to 28% 
in summer and 31% in autumn. Soil type 
caused differences in that Hartleton Channery 
silt loam lost 41% to 56% of the N0 3 -N, while 
Hagerstown silt loam lost only 16% to 19% 
(Stout et al., 1998). Part of the difference was 
attributed to increased plant growth and more 
N uptake on the Hagerstown soil. Based on 
these studies, Stout et al. (1997, 1998) point 
to the need to manage grazing to minimize 
N0 3 -N leaching particularly in autumn when 



u 



The literature 

suggests a role 

for rotational 

stocking in 

protecting water 

quantity and 

quality." 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



In July 40% 
of the urine-N 
was recovered 
by plants, but 
in November 
recovery was 
negligible." 



plant growth slows and through the later winter 
and early spring before growth resumes. 

Similarly, N0 3 -N levels were greater in 
subsurface flows from winter grazing and 
feeding areas as compared with summer- 
grazed areas in Ohio (Owens et al., 1983c). 
Plant uptake of urine-N declined linearly and 
soil levels increased linearly due to monthly 
urine-N applications between July and 
November (Cuttle and Bourne, 1993). In July 
40% of the urine-N was recovered by plants, 
but in November recovery was negligible. 
Similarly, only 3% of the urine-N was found 
in the soil in July compared with 66% in 
November. This accumulated N was lost 
over the winter. When 15 N-labeled urine was 
applied to plots during May through October, 
the largest N losses occurred with late-season 
application due to decreases in N utilization 
rate by plants (Decau et al., 2003). Over a 2-yr 
period, small seasonal increases were seen in 
total-N and N0 2 " + N0 3 " levels in a monitored 
stream due to early-season and late-season 
grazing compared with no grazing. There were 
higher levels of total P in the stream with 
all-season grazing compared with the other 
treatments (Scrimgeour and Kendall, 2002). 

Sediment. Few studies have examined the 
effect of season and grazing deferment on 
sediment production and loss. In Ohio over 
60% of sediment loss from grazed pasture 
occurred during November through April 
(Owens et al, 1997). Greatest losses occurred 
during March through June, and the smallest 
losses occurred from August through October. 
Estimated annual sediment losses were 2.3 
Mg ha" 1 when summer rotational stocking was 
combined with winter stocking and feeding on 
the same area, 0.15 Mg ha" 1 with only summer 
rotational stocking, and < 0.1 Mg ha" 1 with no 
grazing. McDowell et al. (2005) examined the 
effects of unrestricted grazing, grazing restricted 
to 3 h, and no grazing during wintering of 
dairy cattle. Sediment loads in runoff were six 
times greater with unrestricted grazing and 
two times greater from restricted grazing as 
compared with no grazing. 

Pathogens, Since bacteria of fecal origin are 
mesophilic, it is expected that season and 
grazing deferment would impact populations. 
Numbers of E. coli in streams associated with 



grazing and forestry land uses were greater 
during the warmer summer and autumn 
months than in winter and spring (Donnison et 
al., 2004). A similar trend occurred with fecal 
coliforms in sheep-grazed pastures in England 
(Hunter et al., 1999). Similarly, when pastures 
in the karst region of West Virginia were grazed 
during spring and summer, the fecal coliform 
levels in resurgent groundwater peaked in the 
summer, declined in autumn, and returned 
to pre-grazing levels during winter (Pasquarell 
and Boyer, 1995). With grazing deferment in 
Australia, McDowell et al. (2005) noted that 
E. coli levels in overland flow increased with 
unrestricted winter grazing by dairy cattle but 
not for grazing restricted to 3 h d" 1 . 

Hydrology 

Although seasonal variation in precipitation, 
plant growth, and hence runoff and drainage 
occurs in pasturelands (Di and Cameron, 2002; 
NOAA, 2005), little research has examined 
the effects of season and grazing deferment 
on surface and subsurface hydrology. In Ohio 
pastures, > 50% of the November through 
April precipitation was routed to subsurface 
flow, but it was < 20% of that during May 
through October (Owens et al, 2003). This 
was mainly due to reduced evapotranspiration 
during the November through April dormant 
season. This changed water quality; greatest 
loss of nutrients occurred during the dormant 
season with surface waters largely transporting 
P, K, and total organic-C, while subsurface 
waters transported N, Ca, Mg, Na, and CI 
(Owens et al., 1983b). 

Stream Morphology 

Excluding livestock completely from riparian 
areas improved streambank stability (Trimble, 
1994; Owens et al., 1996; Zaimes et al, 
2008a), but few reports have examined the 
potential of limited grazing on morphological 
parameters. Scrimgeour and Kendall (2002, 
2003) noted a 50% increase in bank stability 
and three to five times more vegetation when 
livestock were excluded from riparian areas as 
compared with allowing early- or late-season 
grazing. They concluded that use of deferred 
grazing was not likely to produce more stable 
banks or greater riparian vegetation. 

Streambanks did not recover during the off- 
season from the erosive effects of grazing 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



TABLE 3.6. Water quali 


ty, hydrology, and 


streambank morphology responses to stocking method. 


Response 1 


Comparison 2 


Difference 


Note Reference 


TP and sediment 
loss 


C>R>N 


TP: C was 1 .3 times greater than R (5 cm); 
R (5 cm) was 2.8 times greater than N; C was 
3.7 times greater than N 

Sediment loss: C was 2 times greater than R 


Percent ground cover was Haan et al., 
directly correlated to TP and 2006 
sediment loss 


TKN, NH 4 , TKP, 
DRP, runoff 


C = R 


Not significant at P > 0.10 


Pastures were subjected to Kuykendall et 
broiler litter applications al., 1999a 


TN, runoff 
volume 


C>R 


TN: C was 1 .9-2.5 times greater than R 


TN: Ground cover was less Owens and 
than 50% for C and about Shipitalo, 
1 00% for R 2009 


Runoff: C greater than R 75% of time 


Runoff: Amount of winter 
vegetative cover indirectly 
correlated to runoff volumes 




C>R 


C was over 2 times greater than R for stream 
mean values 


FC levels still exceeded Howell et 
water quality standards al., 1995 


FC 


Annual soil loss 


C>R 


C was 15.5 times greater than R 


Increased runoff with C, Owens et 
attributed to increased soil al., 1997 
compaction and decreased 
vegetation 


Streambank 
erosion 


C, R> N 


C and R were 2-5 times greater than N 


Consideration should also Zaimes et 
be given to constituents such al., 2008a 
as P in streambanks 


Turbidity, FC, 
fines, exposed 
streambanks 


C>R 


Turbidity: C was about 1 .5 times greater than R; 

FC: C was about 2 times greater than R; 

Exposed streambanks: C was about 9 times 
greater than R 


Turbidity strongly correlated Sovell et al., 
with TSS for studied streams 2000 

Streambank erosion Lyons et 
significant source of al., 2000; 
sediment to streams Weigel et 

al., 2000 


Fines 

(embeddedness), 
streambank 
erodability 


C>R 


Fines (embeddedness): C was about 2 times 
greater than R; 

Streambank erodability: C was about 1 .5 times 
greater than R 



'TP indicates total P; TKN, total Kjeldahl N; TKP, total Kjeldahl P; FC, fecal coliforms; TOC, total organic C; and COD, chemical oxygen demand. 2 C indicates continuous 
stocking; R, rotational stocking; N, non-grazed. 



(Agouridis et al, 2005b), suggesting other 
factors such as prior land use, soil types, and 
geology should be carefully examined before 
season of grazing deferment is discounted 
as a streambank management strategy. Since 
soil strength is decreased under saturated 
conditions, Bellows (2001) recommended that 
grazing of riparian areas be permitted only after 
streambanks "dried out." 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Season of Grazing and Deferment 

The largest effects of grazing on water quality 
typically occurred during the dormant 
season (i.e., fall/winter months), particularly 



N0 3 -N leaching and sediment loss. However, 
the highest levels of fecal organisms were 
often found in water during the summer 
months when temperatures were warmest 
(Table 3.7). Similarly for hydrology, greater 
runoff rates occurred during the dormant 
season when evapotranspiration was lowest. 
Research on grazing management impacts on 
streambanks is limited, but results suggest 
that removal of livestock from riparian areas 
during periods of high soil saturation is 
warranted. 

Winter feeding on pasture significantly alters 
water quality and hydrology, but more research 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



TABLE 3.7. Water quality, hydrology, and streambank morphology responses to season. 



Parameter 


Comparison 1 


Difference 


Note 


Reference 


NO3-N 


A > Su > Sp 


18% loss in Sp, 28% in 
Su, 31% in A 


Differences attributed to plant 
uptake 


Stout etal., 1997 


NO3-N 


W>Su 


W nearly twice Su 


Subsurface flows 


Owens etal., 1983c 


Urine-N 


Plant uptake: Su > A 


Plant uptake: 40% in Su, 
negligible in A; 


Linear decline in plant uptake and 
linear increase in soil levels 


Cuttle and Bourne, 
1993 


Soil levels: A > Su 


Soil levels: 3% in Su, 
66% in A 


,5 N-labeled 
urine 


Plant uptake: Sp > A 


Average plant uptake: 
62% Sp, 1 7% A 


Uptake by plants varied with soil 
type 


Decau et al., 2003 


Sediment 


Late A, W, and early 
Sp > late Sp, S, and 
early A 


Accounted for over 60% 
of loss 


Greater losses during dormant 
season 


Owens etal., 1997 


Escherichia coli 


Su and A > Sp and W 


2-3 log difference 


Attributed to warmer temperatures 


Donnison et al., 2004 


Fecal coliforms 


Su > A; recovery in W 


August peak with decline 
until November 


Seasonal variation related to 
presence/absence of cattle, 
amount of soil water present, 
bacterial storage in soil, and 
bacterial die-off rates 


Pasquarell and Boyer, 
1995 


Subsurface 
flow 


Late A, W, and early 
Sp > late Sp, S, and 
early A 


Late A, W, and early Sp 
(dormant season): over 
50% from precipitation; 

Late Sp, S, and early A 
(growing season): 20% or 
less from precipitation 


Greater amounts of precipitation 
becoming subsurface flow during 
dormant season 


Owens et al., 2003 



'Sp indicates spring (March-May); Su, summer (June-August); A, autumn (September-November); and W, winter (December-February). 



is needed to develop management strategies 
to minimize effects on surface and subsurface 
waters. Excluding grazing livestock from 
riparian areas during sensitive time periods, 
e.g., when evapotranspiration levels are at their 
lowest, is a good option, while cattle still graze 
and can be fed hay on nonriparian pastures 
during the dormant period. Best management 
practices need to be developed for these winter 
feeding areas to minimize environmental 
impacts. 

Importantly, complete livestock exclusion from 
portions of pasturelands, such as riparian areas, 
may not be the best solution for the ecosystem. 
Some level of vegetation disturbance is likely 
needed to maintain or improve biodiversity 
on pasturelands (Connell, 1978). However, 
questions remain as to the level and timing 
of such disturbances and what biodiversity 
component is the benefactor. Such knowledge 
will allow for improved management of 



pasturelands and their riparian areas to support 
livestock production and increase diversity of 
desired plant, mammalian, avian, and benthic 
species. 

TYPE AND CLASS OF LIVESTOCK 

A large body of literature describes the 
environmental impact of beef cattle on grazing 
lands, particularly with regard to grazing 
management and livestock distribution 
(Clark, 1998; Belsky et al., 1999; Agouridis 
et al., 2005a), but little is available for dairy 
cattle, horses, sheep, or goats. A review of the 
literature revealed a notable lack of research in 
many areas related to environmental impact 
due to livestock type. Most available research 
focused on effects of pathogenic organisms on 
water quality. 

Animal Size 

Larger animals exert more pressure on the soil 
than smaller animals, leading to altered soil 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



structure (Bilotta et al., 2007), which, in turn, 
affects both hydrology and erosion processes on 
pastures and along streambanks (Trimble and 
Mendel, 1995; Belsky et al., 1999; Agouridis 
et al., 2005a). The differing types of livestock 
also produce differing amounts of urine and 
manure, which vary in microbial content and 
nutrient concentration. Thus, it is expected 
that animals of different sizes will have different 
effects on water and the environment (ASABE, 
2005; Weaver etal, 2005). 

Grazing Characteristics 

Preferred location of grazing, biting 
mechanisms, and amount of forage consumed 
daily vary among types of livestock. Cattle 
typically prefer to forage in riparian areas and 
avoid steep slopes (Marlow and Pognacnik, 
1986; Evans, 1998; USDA-NRCS, 2003), 
whereas sheep graze predominately in the 
uplands (Platts, 1981; Arnold, 1984; Glimp 
and Swanson, 1994). Cattle also tend to 
damage the riparian environment to a greater 
extent than horses (Trimble and Mendel, 1995; 
Menard et al., 2002). 

SURFACE WATER QUALITY 

Streambank Erosion. Different types of 
livestock may alter streambanks or riparian 
areas differently due to grazing preferences. For 
example, cattle-grazed pastures had significantly 
more streambank erosion than horse-grazed 
pastures (Zaimes et al., 2006). Sheep prefer 
to graze uplands but will graze riparian areas 
if stocked at high rates (Platts, 1981). At high 
stocking rates, sheep grazing riparian areas led 
to increased stream width by four-fold and 
reduced mean depth to 20% of previous levels. 
This change in channel morphology resulted in 
increased water temperature. 

Pathogenic Organisms. Livestock producers 
often allow access to open water bodies such 
as streams and ponds as a source of drinking 
water, resulting in an increased level of activity 
along the water's edge. Manure may contain 
pathogenic organisms such as Cryptosporidium 
spp., Giardia spp., or E. coli, which can be 
carried by runoff into nearby surface waters, 
and even infiltrate to ground waters during 
rainfall events (Niemi and Niemi, 1991). 
Furthermore, these pathogens that enter surface 
waters may be resuspended by the higher 



stream flows produced during runoff-producing 
rainfall events (Stephenson and Rychert, 1982). 

Livestock wastes serve as a source of both 
Giardia and Cryptosporidium on pastures. 
Giardia was found in 38% of sheep, 29% of 
cattle, and 20% of the horse waste sampled 
(Olson et al., 1997). Cryptosporidium was 
found in 23% of pastured sheep, 20% of 
pastured cattle, 17% of pastured horses, 50% 
of manure from beef cattle feedlot pens, and 
68% of the manure from dairies (Anderson, 
1991, 1998). Dairies in the eastern USA 
had a higher percentage of positive samples 
than those in the western USA, perhaps due 
to greater pasture use and higher rainfall in 
the East resulting in billions of oocysts being 
washed into surface waters. A "hydrologic 
connection" was proposed as the primary 
means for transfer of organisms to the water 
from land deposits of the manure (Atwill et al., 
1999). Overland flow accounted for 99.8% of 
oocyst transport, and only 0.2% was attributed 
to subsurface flow. 

Animal manure is a major source of E. coli 
0157:H7, which has been isolated both in 
depositions and in rectal samples from cattle, 
sheep, horses, and wildlife (Wang et al., 1996; 
Renter et al., 2004). E. coli 0157:H7 was 
detected in 16% of rectally retrieved manure 
samples in the United Kingdom and 1.9% to 
5% in the USA (Sargeant et al., 2000; Oliver 
et al, 2005). Bovine manure, especially from 
dairy cattle, contains the highest concentration 
of E. coli 0157:H7 among livestock (Wang 
et al, 1996). Since most enteric organisms 
are capable of fermenting lactose, lactating 
cows provide an optimal environment for the 
organism. E. coli 0157:H7 was four times 
more prevalent in deposits of fresh manure 
from calves than adult cattle (Renter et al, 
2004). Drinking water is thought to be a 
major contributor to the re-inoculation and 
subsequent excretion of £. coli 0157:H7 in 
adult cattle (Wang et al., 1996). 

Nutrients. Concentrations of nutrients are 
related to the type of manure and urine 
excreted (e.g., animal type) and with the 
volume (e.g., animal size). In dairy pastures in 
central Pennsylvania, as the amount of urine 
applied increased, the volume of urine leached 
increased, indicating that larger livestock are 



u 



Livestock wastes 

serve as a 

source of both 

Giardia and 

Cryptosporidium 

on pastures. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



As cattle frequent 
an area, 
they remove 
vegetation, 
concentrate 
waste, and may 
compact the 
soil, providing 
ideal conditions 
for runoff 
contributions to 
waterways 



TABLE 3.8. Range < 


:>f pathogens sizes 


in comparison to 


soi particles sizes. 


Soil particle size 1 


Pathogen class 2 | 


Classification 


Diameter (\im) 


Classification 


Diameter (pm) Examples 


Sand 


50-2000 


Protozoa 


5-1000 Cryptosporidium and Giardia 
0.5-6 Escherichia coli 


Silt 


2-50 


Bacteria 


Clay 


<2 


Viruses 


0.02-0.75 Rotavirus and enterovirus 



'USDA Textural Classification (McCuen, 2005). 'Adapted from Oliver et al. (2005). 



likely associated with greater N0 3 -N leaching 
from pastures (Stout, 2003). 

Groundwater Quality 

Pathogenic Organisms. The depth to which 
pathogens can travel depends on both the 
organism's dimensions and the soil matrix 
(Table 3.8) (Oliver et al., 2005). Protozoa such 
as Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp., which 
typically range in diameter from 3 um to 1 mm, 
can pass through sand and coarse silt particles, 
but face greater difficulty traveling through a 
soil matrix comprised largely of clay particles. 
Hence, soils comprised largely of clay with low 
bulk density are more effective at removing 
protozoa, and likely bacteria, than are high bulk 
density, sandy soils (Atwill et al., 2002). 

Nutrients. Dairy cattle on pasture caused a 
60% to 70% increase in the N0 3 -N load to 
a cave stream in southwestern West Virginia 
(Boyer and Pasquarell, 1996). Concentrations 
of N0 3 -N were also high in an area where 
beef cattle congregated for shade and water. 
These results indicate that groundwater 
contamination is particularly a concern in karst 
terrain where downward flow readily occurs. 

Summary and Recommendations: Type 
and Class of Livestock 

Although pasturelands support a sizeable 
percentage of the cattle, horses, sheep, and 
goats in humid areas of the USA, little research 
has been done to assess their relative influence 
on water quality, hydrology, riparian health, 
and watershed function. Most of the research 
has been conducted with beef cattle and 
particularly on effects of livestock distribution. 
Few studies have assessed the effects of livestock 
type and age on water quality, hydrology, 
riparian health, and watershed function. From 
the comparative studies conducted, results 
suggest that 1) young calves are a greater source 
of pathogens such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, 



and E. coli 0157:H7 than adult cattle; 2) dairy 
cattle have a higher presence of such pathogens 
than other livestock; and 3) dairy cattle make 
a greater contribution to N and pathogen 
loading of waterways than other livestock. 

Research is needed to better assess the effects 
of animal size, manure characteristics, and 
microbial differences on the environment. 
In particular, lacking is research on effects of 
horses and sheep. The carrying capacity of a 
pasture needs to be thought of in new terms, 
not just forage based but also environment 
based (Evans, 1998). By better understanding 
the effects of different types of livestock at 
different ages on the environment, the negative 
effects can be mitigated by developing best 
management practices such as riparian buffers 
and refining grazing methods to prevent 
problems such as overgrazing. 

LIVESTOCK DISTRIBUTION IN THE 
LANDSCAPE 

Water sources, shade sources, topography, 
fencing, salt and feed sources, and season affect 
the distribution of livestock on pasturelands. 
This results in unequal distribution of 
nutrients, bacteria, and other contaminants 
in the pasture (Agouridis et al., 2005b). As 
cattle frequent an area, they remove vegetation, 
concentrate waste, and may compact the 
soil, providing ideal conditions for runoff 
contributions to waterways, hence influencing 
water quality and quantity as well as riparian 
and watershed function (CAST, 2002). 
Luring cattle away from riparian areas is an 
important goal of prescribed grazing and can 
decrease nutrient, bacteria, sediment, and other 
pollutant loads to waterways. 

Much research has been conducted in western 
USA rangelands, where researchers have 
noted that livestock grazing alters watershed 
hydrology, stream morphology, soil structure, 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



water quality, and riparian habitat (Belsky et 
al., 1999; Agouridis et al., 2005a). Knowledge 
gained from rangeland studies is helpful; 
however, the transferability of the results to 
pasturelands in the eastern USA is uncertain 
because plant species and precipitation 
magnitude and intensity are markedly different 
(Hershfield, 1961; Trimble and Mendel, 1995). 
Responses of watersheds, stream systems, and 
associated riparian areas to grazing are not 
universal (Juracek and Fitzpatrick, 2003), 
even among pasturelands in the eastern USA, 
and thus prescribed grazing practices are 
not immediately transferable and cannot be 
expected to elicit similar responses for a range 
of ecosystems (Sarr, 2002). An understanding 
of local riparian systems and the functions 
they perform is a necessary step in managing 
livestock grazing (Fitch and Adams, 1998). 

This section addresses management 
interventions designed to alter livestock 
distribution in the landscape, with the goal 
of achieving production while maintaining or 
improving water quantity and quality. These 
interventions include providing alternate water 
and shade sources and use of exclusion fencing 
and riparian buffers. 

Alternate Water Sources 

Few studies have examined the ability of 
alternate water sources (e.g., water trough) 
to affect grazing distribution patterns on 
pasturelands, and thus affect water quality, 
hydrology, morphology, or habitat. Among 
existing studies, results are mixed with regard 
to the effectiveness of alternate water sources. 
For example, installation of a water trough in 
Virginia reduced amount of time cattle spent in 
the stream by 89% and in the riparian area by 
51% (Sheffield et al., 1997). In Georgia, even 
when the area of nonriparian shade was small, a 
water trough reduced the amount of time cattle 
spent in the riparian area (Byers et al., 2005). 
Conversely, research in North Carolina and 
Alabama showed no change in time cattle spent 
in riparian areas following trough installation 
(Line et al., 2000; Zuo and Miller-Goodman, 
2004) or that a trough did not eliminate 
continued use of riparian areas for lounging 
(James et al, 2007). Ambient temperature 
and the degree to which livestock rely on the 
riparian area for cooling may contribute to 
these different findings. During the warm 



season in humid environments, livestock 
increase use of riparian areas for cooling during 
midday and the afternoon (Zuo and Miller- 
Goodman, 2004). Additionally, livestock age 
may be important, as older cows seek heat relief 
by frequenting streams rather than drinking 
water from a trough (Line et al, 2000). 

Water Quality. Installing a water trough in 
the pasture improved water quality in three 
Virginia streams (Sheffield et al., 1997). Cattle 
spent 89% less time drinking from the streams, 
resulting in reductions in total suspended 
solids (90%), total N (54%), total P (81%), 
sediment-bound P (75%), fecal coliforms 
(51%), and fecal streptococci (71%). Having 
water troughs available reduced median base 
flow loads for dissolved reactive P by 85%, total 
P by 57%, total suspended solids by 95%, and 
E. coli by 95% (Byers et al, 2005). Conversely, 
no significant water quality improvement 
accrued from use of an alternate water source 
in one study in North Carolina (Line et al., 
2000). 

Stream Morphology. Use of an alternate 
water source did not reduce streambank erosion 
in a riparian area grazed by cattle in Kentucky 
(Agouridis et al., 2005b). In contrast, a 77% 
reduction in streambank loss was observed after 
installing a water trough in Virginia (Sheffield 
et al, 1997). The difference in results may 
be due to varying weather conditions, stream 
characteristics, and/or stocking rates, which 
differed among experiments. 

Shade Sources 

Shading, both natural and artificial, reduced 
the heat load to cattle by 1400 kj h _1 (Ittner 
et al, 1951) and can be an effective modifier 
of livestock distribution. In warm weather, 
livestock spend a disproportionate amount 
of time in shade (Dubeux et al., 2009), and 
areas around shade were a more powerful draw 
to livestock than areas around water troughs 
(Mathews et al., 1999). Addition of artificial 
shade in the greater pasture did not alter time 
cattle spent in riparian areas containing large 
trees (Zuo and Miller-Goodman, 2004). They 
concluded that if natural shade was accessible, 
cattle would not use artificial shade either 
alone or in combination with an alternate 
water source. In Georgia establishment of 
nonriparian shade is advocated as a means of 



u 



if natural shade 

was accessible, 

cattle would not 

use artificial 

shade either 

alone or in 

combination 

with an alternate 

water source." 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



Unrestricted 
grazing of cattle 
has been linked 
to water quality 
impairments, 
streambank 
erosion, and 
in-stream habitat 
alterations in 
pasturelands." 



luring cattle away from riparian areas (Byers et 
al., 2005). No study was found that evaluated 
effects of alternate shade sources on water 
quality and hydrologic, morphologic, and 
biotic responses. 

Exclusion Fencing 

Several studies have examined either the effects 
of unrestricted grazing on riparian ecosystems 
and water quality or on the effectiveness of 
exclusion fencing to mitigate grazing effects 
on riparian areas. Unrestricted grazing of cattle 
has been linked to water quality impairments, 
streambank erosion, and in-stream habitat 
alterations in pasturelands. Relative to 
exclusion, unrestricted cattle access resulted in 
a four-fold increase in total Kjeldahl N, five- 
fold increase in total P, four-fold increase in 
ammonium, 1 1-fold increase in total suspended 
solids, 13-fold increase in turbidity, and 36-fold 
increase in E. coli in stream water (Vidon et al, 
2008). Increases in loads of dissolved reactive-P, 
total P, and total suspended solids were found 
during storm events and when cattle were 
permitted free access to the stream; the latter 
also increased E. coli load (Byers et al, 2005). 

Streams with riparian grazing had greater 
amounts of eroding banks, greater 
percentages of suspended sediment, greater 
water temperatures, larger reductions in 
invertebrate food sources, and lower density 
of macrobenthos and brown trout when 
compared with streams not affected by grazing 
(Wohl and Carline, 1996). Population declines 
were attributed to the increased sediment loads 
and composition of suspended sediments in the 
stream. 

Fenced riparian buffers in Wisconsin can be 
grazed for a short duration during selective 
periods (up to 20 d per season; Bellows, 
2001) and still minimize grazing damage. This 
practice allows farmers to utilize production 
from the riparian pasture and could also 
promote propagation of sensitive species such 
as buffalo clover, which typically grows along 
the edge between forest canopy and grasslands 
and requires periodic disturbance (USFW, 
2003). 

Water Quality. Lack of exclusion fencing 
permitted livestock to deposit urine and feces 
directly into streams resulting in elevated N 



and P levels in Maryland (Shirmohammadi 
et al, 1997). In the Cannonsville, New York, 
watershed, 1 1,000 dairy cattle deposited 7% of 
all fecal deposits into pasture streams. This was 
a total deposition of 2800 kg of P in streams, 
and an additional 5600 kg of P was deposited 
within 10 m of streams (James et al, 2007). 
Recent efforts to exclude pastured cattle from 
streams as part of the Conservation Reserve 
Enhancement Program have already reduced 
in-stream deposition of fecal P by 32% (James 
et al., 2007). Cattle exclusion reduced mass 
loads of total-N fractions in the stream by 21% 
to 52% compared with grazed pasture in 2 of 3 
yr in Alberta, Canada (Miller et al., 2010). 

Nitrate plus nitrite (33%), total Kjeldahl N 
(78%), total P (76%), and sediment loads 
(82%) decreased following the installation 
of exclusion fencing and establishment of a 
riparian buffer in North Carolina (Line et 
al., 2000). They theorized that continued 
maturation of trees and other vegetation in the 
riparian strip increased N removal efficiency. 
The fenced buffer also decreased fecal coliforms 
(66%), enterococci (57%), turbidity (49%), 
and suspended sediment (60%) in the stream. 
A 20% to 31% reduction in total-N and a 
17% to 26% reduction in suspended sediment 
at low-flow conditions were measured after 
installing exclusion fencing (Galeone, 2000). 

Exclusion fencing reduced total load of 
suspended solids and N and P constituents 
due to reduced streambank erosion. Suspended 
sediment concentrations were reduced by 47% 
to 87% for base flow conditions following 
exclusion fencing, bank stabilization, and 
installation of rock-lined stream crossings 
along two Pennsylvania streams (Carline and 
Walsh, 2007). The decrease in concentration of 
suspended sediment was attributed largely to 
reduction in bank erosion and to a vegetation 
increase of nearly 50% following riparian 
restoration efforts. Concentrations of total 
suspended solids decreased by 75% to 83% at 
the study sites. 

Cattle were identified as the primary source of 
steroid excretion in the USA, accounting for 
over 90% of the estrogens and over 40% of the 
androgens released yearly (Lange et al., 2002). 
The majority of the estrogen was excreted by 
pregnant cows (Lange et al, 2002; Shore and 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Shemesh, 2003). Research regarding livestock 
distribution patterns in relation to hormone 
levels is sparse. Kolodziej and Sedlak (2007) 
detected steroids in 86% of samples from 
a California stream with unrestricted cattle 
access. They concluded that use of exclusion 
fencing to limit direct deposition of wastes into 
streams should be considered. 

Limiting manure deposition in riparian areas 
reduces bacterial loads to streams. Laboratory 
experiments using a rainfall simulator showed 
a 95% reduction in bacterial loads if there was 
a minimum distance of about 2 m between the 
feces and the stream. Fecal bacteria can survive 
in manure deposits for over 100 d (Wang et 
al., 2002); thus the time horizon for potential 
introduction to a waterway whether surface 
or subsurface, is lengthy. Once in the stream, 
bacteria survive in the bottom sediments, 
which function as reservoirs for the organisms 
(Van Donsel and Gelreich, 1971; Stephenson 
and Rychert, 1982). Clay-sized bottom 
sediments have been linked to greater survival 
rates (Burton et al., 1987; Sherer et al, 1992; 
Howell et al, 1995), a fact needing careful 
consideration in light of the increased sediment 
loads attributed to grazing. 

Hydrology. Few studies have been conducted 
to determine changes in water quantity as 
a result of implementing exclusion fencing. 
Establishment of a 16-m wide riparian buffer 
protected by exclusion fencing reduced water 
discharge to the stream due to increased levels 
of evapotranspiration and infiltration of the 
riparian buffer while soil bulk density decreased 
and hydraulic conductivity increased (Line et 
al., 2000). These results correspond to work by 
Sartz andTolsted (1974), who linked higher 
runoff volumes and peak flows with grazing. 
Following animal removal, runoff volumes 
returned to non-grazed conditions within a 
3-yr period, which was attributed to vegetative 
recovery and improved infiltration. Grazing was 
simulated on runoff plots, and runoff decreased 
as vegetation and litter coverage increased 
(Hofmann and Ries, 1991). Grazing was also 
simulated on poorly and well-drained soils, and 
runoff volume generated from lightly grazed 
plots on poorly drained soils was similar to 
heavily grazed plots on well-drained soils (Butler 
et al., 2008). They concluded that grazing 
should be limited in riparian areas with poorly 



drained soils as the runoff volume was linked to 
high levels of exported NH 4 -N and total N. 

Stream Morphology Streams are not universal 
in their response to grazing or in their ability 
to naturally recover once grazing has stopped 
(Sarr, 2002). Therefore, the decision to install 
exclusion fencing should be based in part on 
the geomorphic characteristics of the stream. 
While monitoring continuously stocked 
pastureland in Ohio, Owens et al. (1989) 
found grazing increased sediment transport and 



Fencing can be used to exclude 
livestock from streams and 
streambanks. Photo by Tim 
McCabe, USDA-NRCS. 




CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



A three- to six- 
fold increase 
in streambank 
erosion was 
associated with 
unrestricted 
grazing 



indicated exclusion fencing may be needed. 
When exclusion fencing was installed, annual 
sediment concentration was reduced by 57% 
and soil loss by 41% from 2.5 to 1.4 Mg ha" 1 . 
A three- to six-fold increase in streambank 
erosion was associated with unrestricted grazing 
as compared with streambanks protected by 
exclusion fencing. This translated into an 
estimated net erosion rate of 40 m 3 knr 1 yr 1 of 
grazed streambank (Trimble, 1994). 

Continuous, unrestricted, year-long stocking 
at high stocking rates in the eastern USA was 
implicated as a major factor causing stream 
widening (Trimble, 1994). Streambank erosion 
rates of 22 to 50 mm yr -1 were measured when 
adjacent areas were grazed; this equates to an 
estimated erosion rate of 6 to 61 Mg knr 1 
yr 1 (Zaimes et al, 2008a). Phosphorus losses 
associated with the streambank materials were 
3 to 34 kg knr 1 yr" 1 . No change was seen in 
stream cross-sectional area between reaches 
with excluded riparian areas and those without 
(Agouridis et al., 2005b); however, along the 
unrestricted reaches, localized streambank 
erosion occurred quickly in areas with frequent 
cattle movement and slowly in areas where 
cattle loitered. 

Other Livestock Distribution Options 

Livestock distribution options such as 
supplemental feeding (e.g., salt, mineral, hay) 
and topography have not been examined 
in pasturelands, but supplemental feeding 
practices on rangeland can reduce cattle 
impacts in riparian areas (Mclnnis and Mclver, 
2001; Porath et al., 2002). Topography also 
affects cattle distribution (USDA-NRCS, 
2003), and linkages have been found between 
slope and forage utilization rate. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Livestock Distribution in the Landscape 

Most livestock distribution on pasturelands 
literature addresses exclusion fencing and 
riparian buffers, with relatively little research 
on effects of shade, alternate water sources, 
and supplemental feeding. Research from 
rangeland systems suggests that each of these 
could be a beneficial best management practice 
for pasturelands. While exclusion fencing and 
riparian buffers can reduce negative effects of 
grazing livestock on stream ecosystems, farmers 
are often reluctant to adopt the practices 



because of costs of installing an alternate water 
source and maintaining fencing (Barao, 1992; 
Soto-Grajales, 2002; Agouridis et al., 2005a; 
Zaimes et al., 2008a). 

Adoption of best management practices 
is positively linked to information access 
and social networks with other farmers and 
agencies (Prokopy et al., 2008). Farmers who 
are most likely to incorporate management 
practices were younger with higher education 
levels and had larger acreage farms, greater 
amount of capital, and access to a larger 
labor supply. Such knowledge should aid 
conservationists in extending these practices 
to producers. 

Riparian buffers are a component of exclusion 
fencing, but can also be used independently as 
a management tool. Riparian pasture can be 
grazed for up to 20 d per season with minimal 
damage, which allows farmers to utilize the 
area for production, while improving forage 
species mix and water quality (Bellows, 2001). 
Research is needed to understand the effects of 
livestock distribution on shallow groundwater 
quality and recharge, particularly in karst 
areas that are prevalent in pasturelands of the 
eastern USA (Veni, 2002). As noted by Owens 
et al. (2008), groundwater discharge has an 
appreciable effect on stream quality and flow. 
Thus, in smaller watersheds, where a large 
percentage of land use may be in one practice 
such as grazing, land use may have a greater 
effect on both stream water quality and flow. 

PURPOSE 4: REDUCE ACCELERATED 
SOIL EROSION, AND MAINTAIN OR 
IMPROVE SOIL CONDITION 

Grazinglands typically have greater soil organic 
matter concentration than neighboring crop 
lands (Franzluebbers, 2005; Johnson et al., 
2005). Soil organic matter is an ecological 
cornerstone by providing nutrients to plants, 
stability and water-holding capacity to soil, and 
energy to soil microorganisms. Through soil 
microbial processing of plant-derived organic 
matter, a long-term reservoir of nutrients 
accumulates along with gradual mineralization 
such that eutrophication of receiving water 
bodies is avoided (Franzluebbers et al., 
2000a; Franzluebbers, 2008). Additionally, 
soil aggregates are built to store more 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



water for plant uptake and to withstand 
degenerative forces of erosion and compaction 
(Franzluebbers et al., 2000b, 2001). Carbon 
and N are organically sequestered in soil to 
limit greenhouse gas emissions (Franzluebbers 
and Stuedemann, 2001, 2002), and a 
diversity of soil organism communities 
develop to stabilize ecosystems against various 
perturbations (Franzluebbers et al., 1999; 
Jangidetal., 2008). 

GRAZING INTENSITY 

Optimum grazing intensity on pastures is 
needed to maintain vigorous vegetative cover, 
which is a key determinant in controlling 
soil erosion. High stocking rate results in a 
greater proportion of forage consumed than 
low stocking rate, and soil loss is expected to 
be greater under high than low stocking rate 
due to less vegetative and residue cover of 
the soil. The stocking rate at which soil loss 
exceeds a critical threshold of sustainability 
has not been determined, in general or in 
specific regions. However, high runoff and 
soil erosion can occur even on pastures 
with low stocking rate if vegetative cover is 
reduced due to animal behavior patterns, e.g., 
in loafing areas, along walking trails, and in 
animal-handling zones. Animal behavior is a 
key variable that makes grazinglands a more 
complex arena for ecological investigation 
than croplands because in croplands 
production and harvest are more uniformly 
distributed within fields. 

Literature describing soil erosion and soil 
condition responses to stocking rate in the 
humid regions of the USA is sparse. Far more 
data are available to compare soil erosion and 
soil condition between hay harvested and 
grazed perennial grass systems or cropped 
and perennial grass systems (Barnett et al., 
1972; Giddens and Barnett, 1980; Sharpley 
and Smith, 1994; Franzluebbers et al., 2000a, 
2000b; Sharpley and Kleinman, 2003; 
Causarano et al, 2008). 

In Oklahoma, Potter et al. (2001) reported 
soil organic C and N at the end of 10 yr of 
grazing with a range of stocking rates on 
two sites of degraded pasture. Pastures were 
initially dominated by annual ragweed and 
gradually became dominated by native grasses. 
On a Durant loam (30% ± 5% clay; Udertic 



Argiustoll), soil organic-C declined with 
increasing stocking rate (Fig. 3.6) whereas on 
the neighboring Teller silt loam (17% ± 5% 
clay; Udic Argiustoll), soil organic-C increased 
slightly. These inconsistent responses occurred 
both within surface soil (0- to 30-cm depth), 
and deeper in the soil profile (to 60-cm depth). 
Stocking rate had a similar effect on total 
soil-N. 

On a landscape dominated by Madison-Cecil- 
Pacolet soils (Typic Kanhapludults) in Georgia, 
a 12-yr grazing trial on Coastal bermudagrass 
(years 1-5) and bermudagrass overseeded with 
tall fescue (years 6-12) showed soil organic-C 
was maximum at a moderate stocking rate (Fig. 
3.7). Response of soil organic-C and N deeper 
in the profile showed similar responses at the 
end of 5 yr (Franzluebbers and Stuedemann, 
2005) and were even more pronounced at the 
end of 12 yr (Franzluebbers and Stuedemann, 
2009). These results suggest that moderate to 
heavy stocking will optimize soil organic-C and 
N fractions compared with nonharvested or 
hayed management. 

In Georgia total and particulate organic N 
in the 0- to 6-cm depth were greater under 
high than low stocking rate at the end of 4 
yr (Franzluebbers and Stuedemann, 2001), 
but at the end of 12 yr were not different 
between stocking rates throughout the soil 
profile (Franzluebbers and Stuedemann, 2009). 
Extractable P, K, and Mg were not different 



0-to 30-cm depth 0-to 60-cm depth 



u 



Durant Loam 




-■ Teller Silt Loam 



Cattle Stocking Rate (Mg ha" 1 yr" 1 ) 

FIGURE 3.6. Content of soil organic-C at two depths 
following l yr of grazing management with 
different cattle stocking rates on Durant loam and 
Teller silt loam soils near Marietta, Oklahoma. Non- 
grazed pastures were achieved using exclosures. 
Adapted from Potter et al. (2001 ). 



Optimum 

grazing intensity 

on pastures 

is needed to 

maintain vigorous 

vegetative cover, 

which is a key 

determinant in 

controlling soil 

erosion. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



nutrient cycling 
within the 
pasture makes it 
possible to avoid 
the high demand 
for continuous 
nutrient input 
with hay 
harvest. 



03 


50 


-C 




a> 




2 




■ — ■ 




o 


30 


p 




i_ 




CD 

O 


20 


o 






10 


05 





(0- to 20-cm depth) 



-♦-. 



(0- to 6-cm depth) 
-e e-. 



Surface Residue 

-B-i 




1 2 3 

Cattle Stocking Rate (Mg ha" 1 yr" 1 ) 



FIGURE 3.7. (A) Content of soil and surface residue 
organic-C at the end of 5 yr of management. 
Adapted from Franzluebbers et al. (200 1 ). (B) 
Relative annual change from baseline (0.0) in 
biologically active carbon (BAC) fractions of soi 
organic matter at a depth of 0-6 cm during 4 yr of 
management on Typic Kanhapludults near Farm- 
ington, Georgia. For both A and B, open symbols 
indicate no grazing and two stocking rates; filled 
symbols, forage removed as hay. Adapted from 
Franzluebbers and Stuedemann (2003a). 



between stocking rate treatments during the 
first 5 yr, but tended to be somewhat greater 
with grazing than without grazing and much 
greater with grazing than with hay harvest 
(Fig. 3.8). Residual inorganic N in the upper 
and lower rooting zone followed the same 
pattern as other soil nutrients, but tended to 
decline with increasing stocking rate in samples 
below the rooting zone (Fig. 3.8). These results 
suggest that moderate to heavy stocking can 
improve soil chemical properties relative to 
nonharvested grass and that nutrient cycling 
within the pasture makes it possible to avoid 
the high demand for continuous nutrient 
input with hay harvest. Plant-essential (i.e., 
Mn, Cu, and Zn) and nonessential elements 
(i.e., Cd, Cr, and Pb) accumulated with cattle 
grazing compared with nonharvested or hayed 
areas. This indicated greater sorption of trace 
elements by soil organic matter, especially as 



related to the dynamics of biologically active 
fractions (Franzluebbers et al., 2004b). 

Stocking rate effects on soil organic matter and 
soil condition in the humid region of the USA 
have been determined to a much lesser extent 
than in the semiarid and arid regions of the 
USA (Milchunas and Lauenroth, 1993; Conant 
and Paustian, 2002; Derner et al., 2006), as 
well as in humid and arid regions of other 
countries (Greenwood and McKenzie, 2001; 
Bilotta et al., 2007). In a review of stocking 
rate effects on soil aggregation, Greenwood and 
McKenzie (2001) reported that most studies 
{n = 8; outside the humid USA) found animal 
grazing generally reduced aggregation. Most 
changes were small at low stocking rate and 
greater with intensive treading, which causes 
compaction. Greenwood and McKenzie (2001) 
cited 22 studies from around the world, most 
of which found an increase in bulk density with 
increased treading. 

Although increased stocking rate generally 
compacts soil, the extent may be mitigated by 
controlling the timing and intensity of grazing 
and knowing whether the soil surface is firm 
enough to withstand the traffic. Penetration 
resistance may be a more discerning soil 
response to the impact of animal treading 
than soil aggregation or bulk density. Long- 
term studies are needed on stocking rates with 
measurements of soil penetration resistance, 
bulk density, and aggregation at different 
times of the year and at different durations of 
stocking rate treatments. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Grazing Intensity 

Establishment of pastures helps reduce 
soil erosion and improves soil quality on 
previously degraded cropland. Limited 
evidence also shows that grazing at moderate 
levels can further increase environmental 
benefits, in addition to the important 
economic return to producers. Some evidence 
in the humid USA suggests that overgrazing 
can lead to increased soil erosion, and 
reduction in soil condition. Literature outside 
the humid USA supports the concept that 
excessive stocking rate leads to increasing soil 
erosion and declining soil quality. A great 
need exists for establishing a comprehensive 
grazing intensity study (soil, water, air, 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



plant, and animal responses) in one or more 
locations within the humid USA. 

STOCKING METHOD 

Rotational stocking in the humid USA should 
provide more uniform forage consumption 
across pastures and allow sufficient rest 
of forages to promote greater production 
(Chestnut et al., 1992; Hoveland et al., 1997). 
Pastures with greater plant production via an 
improved stocking method would be expected 
to have lower soil erosion and greater soil 
quality. While intuitive, essentially no data are 
available in the scientific literature from the 
humid region of the USA to support a claim 
for positive effects of rotational stocking alone, 
or in comparison with continuous stocking, on 
soil erosion or soil condition. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Stocking Method 

An urgent need exists to obtain information 
on how and to what extent stocking method 
affects soil erosion, soil condition, and 
soil C sequestration in the humid USA, 
especially since recommendations without 
a science base could mislead landowners, 
policy makers, and agro-environmental 
stakeholders. Although scientific rationale 
may be limited for additional studies 
comparing stocking methods from a plant 
or animal response perspective, this is not 
the case regarding soil and environmental 
issues. This deficit in information suggests 
a need for such comparisons at several 
strategically selected sites throughout the 
humid pastureland regions of the USA. 
Teams of the best scientists nationally in 
the areas of soil, plant, water, wildlife, and 
animal response should be assembled to 
coordinate these studies. If so, the treatment 
selection and response measurement should 
be done in a manner that will generate 
conclusive and transferable results as well 
as data for modeling. Conclusions from 
this comprehensive work would serve as 
an authoritative guide to future prescribed 
grazing recommendations. 

SEASON OF GRAZING AND 
DEFERMENT 

The capacity of soil to withstand compaction 
forces of animal treading, resulting in 
significant deformation, destabilization, and 



</) 




10 


£Z 






fl) 


-. 




[~~ 


T - 




-t— [ 


1— 


b 




-10 

10 



o 



-10 



Phosphorus 
Potassium 



Magnesium 



30- to 90-cm depth ° 



.- >- £__90- to 150-cm depth <> 
o,- 




0- to 30-cm depth 



•m 



12 3 4 

Cattle Stocking Rate (Mg ha" 1 yr" 1 ) 

FIGURE 3.8. (A) Effects of 5 yr of grazing manage- 
ment on changes from the baseline condition (0) of 
extractable phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium 
in the surface I 5 cm of Typic Kanhapludults near 
Farmington, Georgia. Adapted from Franzluebbers 
etal. (2002, 2004a). (B) Changes in residual 
N03-N in the upper rooting zone (0- to 30-cm 
depth), lower rooting zone (30- to 90-cm depth), 
and below the rooting zone (90- to l 50-cm depth). 
Adapted from Franzluebbers and Stuedemann 
(2003b). For both A and B, open symbols indicate 
no grazing and two stocking rates; filled symbols, 
forage removed as hay. 



loss of infiltration capacity, can be exceeded 
especially under wet conditions (Bilotta et al., 
2007). Soil can be expected to be saturated 
during much of the winter in the southeastern 
USA and in the spring in the central and 
northeastern USA. These seasons are therefore 
the most vulnerable times for soil to experience 
severe animal trampling effects. Intuitively, 
deferring grazing to periods of limited active 
forage growth (e.g., winter and spring) might 
contribute to increased soil compaction. 
However, allowing forage to accumulate to a 
high level prior to grazing might be beneficial 
to controlling erosion by providing a longer 
period of forage and residue cover. Grazing 
of winter cover crops may also be an effective 
farm-diversity strategy, but the effects on soil 
erosion control and soil condition need to be 
quantified. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



Organic matter- 
rich surface 
soil absorbs 
compactive 
forces much like 
a sponge, often 
rebounding in 
volume once 
forces are 
removed. 



— 0.0 

E 


*** \ 


1 ■ 1 1 1 


A 


£ 0.1 








0) 

a 0.2 




• High endophyte \ 






■ Low endophyte • 




OT 0.3 









.6 


0.9 1.2 1.5 


1 




Soil Bulk density (Mg m" 3 ) 




-p- u.u 








_E 




***MJ3 


B 


£ 0.1 
a. 

0) 

a 0.2 




* 19^ 




o 
w 3 




■ i i 





12 24 36 

Soil Organic Carbon (kg rrf 3 ) 



48 



FIGURE 3.9. Depth distribution of soil bulk density 
(A) and soil organic carbon (B) at the end of 8 
to l 5 yr of grazing tall fescue containing low 
or high levels of endophyte infection on a Cecil 
sandy loam (Typic Kanhapludult] near Watkins- 
ville, Georgia. Adapted from Franzluebbers et al. 
(1999). * and *** indicate means at that depth 
are different at the 0.05 and 0.001 probability 
levels, respectively. 



In the southern USA, perennial cool-season 
grasses are often grazed during late winter 
and throughout spring during typically wet 
conditions. However, because of active forage 
growth, soil can also dry quickly, and trampling 
may not always cause damage. In Georgia soil 
organic-C and N were greater under long- 
term stands of cool-season tall fescue (typically 
grazed in spring and autumn) than under 
warm-season bermudagrass (typically grazed 
in summer) (Franzluebbers et al., 2000a). Soil 
bulk density under grazed tall fescue on Cecil 
sandy loam (Typic Kanhapludult) in Georgia 
did not show signs of excessive compaction, 
partly due to the long-term accumulation of 
soil organic matter at the soil surface (Fig. 3.9), 
which mitigated compactive forces. Organic 
matter-rich surface soil absorbs compactive 
forces much like a sponge, often rebounding 
in volume once forces are removed. Effects 
of winter grazing of deferred growth may be 
different in colder areas; frozen soil may resist 
compaction, but nutrient runoff may become 
more important (Clark et al., 2004). 

Annual cool-season forages are often planted 
as a cover crop following summer crops or 
sod-seeded into perennial grass pastures in the 
southeastern USA. On a Typic Kanhapludult in 



Georgia, soil bulk density at the end of 3 yr of 
winter grazing of rye by stocker cattle was the 
same (1.50 Mg m~ 3 ) as when the cover crop was 
not grazed (both following full-season soybean) 
in a system using conventional tillage to remove 
compaction on a biannual basis (Tollner et al., 
1990). However, when no-tillage management 
was used every year the bulk density was greater 
(1.60 vs. 1.52 Mg rrr 3 ) when the cover crop was 
grazed than not grazed. 

In a pasture-crop rotation study in Georgia, soil 
bulk density during 5 yr of winter grazing of rye 
by cow-calf pairs was not different from that of 
non-grazed winter cover-cropping (Fig. 3.10). 
Soil aggregation and penetration resistance 
were also not affected by grazing of cover crops. 
Water infiltration was reduced 28% by grazing 
of winter cover crop compared with non-grazed 
rye, but was reduced only 19% by grazing of 
summer cover crop compared with non-grazed 
pearl millet (Franzluebbers and Stuedemann, 
2008b). Soil organic-C and N fractions were 
little affected by grazing of cover crops, in 
either summer or winter (Franzluebbers and 
Stuedemann, 2008a). 

In Coastal Plain soils prone to hardpan 
development in the E horizon, soil compaction 
in long-term cropped soils is a continual 
concern due to inhibition of adequate 
root penetration deep into the soil profile. 
Introducing cattle grazing onto winter wheat 
or cover crops has led to soil compaction 
and restricted plant growth. On a Plinthic 
Paleudult in South Carolina, stocker cattle 
grazing winter wheat planted after disking 
and chisel-plowing resulted in greater soil 
penetration resistance with a linear increase 
related to grazing duration (Worrell et al., 
1992). Wheat grain yield declined with longer 
grazing time, but cattle weight gain increased. 
On a Plinthic Kandiudult in Alabama, soil 
hardpan development was alleviated best with 
paratiling, even with winter grazing of cover 
crops following cotton or peanut in summer 
(Siri-Prieto et al., 2007). 

On three soils in Oklahoma (Mollic Albaqualf 
and two Udic Argiustolls), soil bulk density and 
penetration resistance were greater following 
grazing of wheat (conventionally tilled) to early 
joint stage than when wheat was not grazed 
(Krenzer et al, 1989). Greater bulk density 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



occurred to a depth of 9 cm in two soils and to 
21 cm in a third soil. Winter grazing of wheat 
increased penetration resistance to depths of 
16, 18, and 28 cm, respectively. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Season of Grazing and Deferment 

Animals grazing forage on unstable soil, 
attained either through soil loosening 
to ameliorate previous compaction or 
from excessively wet conditions, can have 
detrimental effects on soil bulk density, soil 
aggregation, and penetration resistance, 
which in turn negatively affects productivity 
and environmental quality (Bilotta et al., 
2007). Although some indirect evidence in 
the humid USA, especially in the South, is 
available to make this claim, a great need still 
is seen for more comprehensive studies to 
understand the multitude of soil changes (e.g., 
soil erosion, soil structure, soil organic matter, 
and soil nutrients) in response to stocking 
method, season of grazing, and duration of 
deferment. For example, it is unclear how these 
practices affect long-term accumulation of soil 
organic matter and what this impact might 
be on subsequent soil quality, environmental 
outcomes, and forage and animal productivity. 
Studies should be expanded to include soil 
responses in riparian areas. 

TYPE AND CLASS OF LIVESTOCK 

Little comparative evidence exists in the humid 
USA to assess the impact of livestock type 
and class on soil erosion and soil condition. 
Further, many other factors (such as climate, 
soil type, forage type, management practices, 
etc.) could confound interpretations from a 
group of isolated projects studying different 
types and classes of livestock. As noted by 
Bilotta et al. (2007) in their excellent review of 
animal grazing effects on soils, vegetation, and 
surface waters, data from outside the region 
or even country may be useful, but data must 
be used with caution because of the many 
differences in climate, soil type, vegetation, 
and grazing management style that could 
limit transferability. There is a great need to 
determine the impact of single-species, single- 
age, mixed-species, and mixed-age livestock 
effects on soil erosion and soil condition in the 
humid USA. If data were available, modeling 
may help with transferability by sorting out the 
variables and their effects. 



m 


1.5 


E 




rn 


1 4 


> 








>. 


1.3 


m 




c 






1.2 


.^ 




13 

CD 


1.1 


'5 


1.0 



Not grazed during winter 
Grazed during winter 



12 3 4 5 

Years of Management 

FIGURE 3.10. Changes in soil bulk density (0- to 
1 2-cm depth) during the first 5 yr of cropping with 
grain sorghum or corn during summer and a cover 
crop of rye that was not grazed or grazed by cow- 
calf pairs during winter. Crops were grown using 
no-tillage management on a Cecil sandy loam 
(Typic Kanhapludult) near Watkinsville, Georgia. 
Grain sorghum and corn data were averaged. 
Treatment means within a sampling time were not 
different between not grazed and grazed systems 
at the 0.05 probability level. Adapted from Fran- 
zluebbers and Stuedemann (2008b). 



LIVESTOCK DISTRIBUTION IN 
THE LANDSCAPE 

Cattle tend to congregate around shade and 
water sources and, therefore, can affect the 
distribution of manure and nutrients in 
pastures. Short-term grazing studies in small 
paddocks at several locations in the humid 
USA have shown greater concentration of 
P and K near shade and watering areas than 
farther away (West et al., 1989; Wilkinson et 
al., 1989; Mathews et al., 1994a). Longer-term 
studies have shown greater concentration of 
inorganic nutrients (N, P, K, and Mg) and 
organic constituents (e.g., total, particulate, and 
microbial C and N fractions) near shade and 
water sources than farther away (Franzluebbers 
et al, 2000a; Schomberg et al., 2000; 
Franzluebbers and Stuedemann, 2010). 

In Georgia, soil organic C at the end of 5 yr 
of Coastal bermudagrass management was 
greater nearest shade and water sources at 
surface depths to 12 cm, but not below. Total 
C in soil and stubble was nearly 4 Mg C ha" 1 
greater near shade than farther away; a large 
difference considering the average pasture stock 
of C was about 43 Mg ha" 1 (Franzluebbers and 
Stuedemann, 2010). In tall fescue pastures 
grazed by cattle for 8 to 15 yr, soil organic-C 
was greatest near shade and water sources 
and declined logarithmically with increasing 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



An important 
ecosystem service 
of pastureland is 
providing wildlife 
habitat and food 
supply. 



distance. Soil organic-C to a depth of 30 cm 
was 46.0 Mg C ha" 1 at 1 m from shade, 43.2 
Mg C ha- 1 at 10 m from shade, 39.9 Mg C 
tuT 1 at 30 m from shade, 40.5 Mg C ha 1 at 50 
m from shade, and 39.4 Mg C ha 1 at 80 m 
from shade (Franzluebbers et al, 2000a). The 
zone within a 10-m radius of shade and water 
sources became enriched in soil organic-C, most 
likely because of the high frequency of cattle 
defecation and urination, which would increase 
fertility level and subsequent forage growth 
(DubeuxetaL, 2006). 

To minimize the probability of N 
contamination of surface and groundwater 
supplies (since total N also increased with soil 
organic-C), shade/water sources should be 
moved periodically, positioned on the landscape 
to minimize flow of percolate or runoff directly 
from these areas to water supplies, and avoided 
during routine fertilization. In Pennsylvania 
livestock concentration areas caused an increase 
of soil P within a 20- to 40-m radius, which led 
to greater P concentration in runoff (Sanderson 
et al., 2010). The authors stated that if 
livestock concentration areas were surrounded 
by sufficient vegetation, risk of surface water 
quality deterioration could be mitigated. 

PURPOSE 5: IMPROVE OR MAINTAIN 
THE QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF 
FOOD AND/OR COVER AVAILABLE FOR 
WILDLIFE 

An important ecosystem service of pastureland 
is providing wildlife habitat and food supply. 
Within the pastureland context, research 
quantifying the effects of prescribed livestock 
grazing strategies on wildlife is limited. Most 
research has focused on wildlife responses to 
grazing intensity. Of the 52 wildlife papers 
reviewed, 34 (65%) reported grazing intensity 
responses. Avian responses to prescribed grazing 
strategies in pastureland were studied in 38 of 
52 papers (73%), but this assessment will also 
include invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, fish, 
and mammals. 

Implementing a grazing management plan 
to enhance wildlife habitat requires an 
interdisciplinary approach because such a plan 
depends upon knowledge of plant community 
dynamics, life cycle and habitat requirements of 
affected wildlife species, and potential effects on 



livestock (Vavra, 2005). Further, Vavra suggests 
that any habitat change made for a featured 
species may create adverse, neutral, or beneficial 
changes for other species, and development of 
a grazing management plan on a field scale is 
rarely sufficient; understanding complementary 
grazing practices on a landscape scale is 
required. 

GRAZING INTENSITY 

Grazing intensity is widely viewed as the 
grazing management strategy having the 
greatest impact on plant and livestock 
responses. Thus, it is reasonable that wildlife 
response to livestock grazing intensity has been 
evaluated more than to any other prescribed 
grazing strategy. 

Birds 

Throughout North America, populations of 
birds that rely on grasslands are declining 
faster than any other type of bird, and in 
Pennsylvania 82% of grassland-associated 
avian species have declined in number in 
the last three decades (Giuliano and Daves, 
2002). The reasons are not known, but greater 
grazing intensity is thought to play a role. In 
Great Britain the sheep population has more 
than doubled since 1950, and associated 
severe grazing pressure has been implicated 
in changes in vegetation structure and bird 
populations (Evans et al, 2005). Grazing 
intensity can affect avian populations by 
altering plant species composition, vegetation 
cover, litter mass, food supply, predator 
populations, and degree of nest disturbance. In 
a review of livestock grazing impacts on sage 
grouse habitat, 10 of 17 studies showed direct 
effects from livestock grazing, but the authors 
concluded that indirect effects of grazing on 
habitat were of even greater significance (Beck 
and Mitchell, 2000). Both direct and indirect 
effects of grazing intensity on avian abundance, 
species richness, nest site selection, and nesting 
success are assessed. 

Avian Abundance and Species Richness. In 

the St. Lawrence River area of Quebec, Canada, 
grazed and moderately grazed grassland 
contained six times more birds than intensively 
grazed grassland (10.4, 11.7, and 1.6 birds ha" 1 , 
respectively) (Belanger and Picard, 1999). No 
species or species group showed a preference 
for intensively grazed pasture, and the authors 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



concluded that stocking rate exceeding 1 cow 
ha 1 is detrimental to avian abundance. In 
Scotland low-intensity mixed grazing by cattle 
and sheep increased the abundance of meadow 
pipit due to its effect on food availability (Evans 
et al., 2006b). Arthropod abundance and 
species diversity increased with greater habitat 
heterogeneity (Dennis et al., 2008). In a review 
of grazing effects on habitat for a wide range 
of birds, Derner et al. (2009) recommended 
against restriction of grazing and argue for 
use of livestock as "ecosystems engineers." 
They indicate that using heterogeneity- 
based management, instead of emphasizing 
exclusively uniform use of vegetation, can alter 
vegetation structure and improve habitat for 
grassland birds. 

The relationship between avian abundance 
and grazing intensity varies among bird 
species (Durant et al., 2008). Sward structure 
preferences also exist, with some avian species 
preferring more and others less variation in 
structure. In Queensland, Australia, it was 
hypothesized that avian foraging height was a 
good predictor of bird sensitivity to livestock 
grazing (Martin and Possingham, 2005). Their 
model predicted that 3 1 bird species would 
decline with increased grazing intensity, and 
this was confirmed by field observations. They 
concluded that instead of searching for patterns 
of population change in response to specific 
grazing treatments, ecologists should consider 
the mechanisms underlying the change, one of 
which is avian foraging height. 

In another Australian woodland study, any level 
of livestock grazing was detrimental to some 
birds, particularly the understory-dependent 
species (Martin and Mclntyre, 2007). Provided 
that trees were not cleared, however, a rich 
and abundant bird population existed under 
moderate levels of grazing, but high grazing 
intensity resulted in a species-poor bird 
assemblage. In a review of grazing effects on 
sage grouse habitat, both positive and negative 
effects of grazing by cattle were found (Beck 
and Mitchell, 2000). Periodic grazing was 
useful to remove mature grass and rejuvenate 
forbs that are a food source, but high grazing 
intensity eliminated most forbs. 

Nesting Site Selection. In Quebec, Canada, 
nest density was 0.3, 0.5, and 0.05 nests ha" 1 , 



respectively, for non-grazed, moderately grazed, 
and intensively grazed common pastureland 
(Belanger and Picard, 1999). Stocking rates 
exceeding 1 cow ha" 1 were detrimental to the 
presence of birds that frequent this area. 

During the spring nesting season of wading 
birds in France, fields with low grazing 
intensity were occupied by more birds than 
the landscape average (Tichit et al., 2005). 
Different species of waders showed different 
preferences to grazing intensity, however, 
and the authors highlight the importance of 
maintaining a variety of grazing regimes if 
conservation of waders was to be achieved at 
the community level. 

In Montana plots not grazed by cattle had 
reduced forb cover, greater litter cover, greater 
litter depth, and increased ratings of visual 
obstruction for birds (Fondell and Ball, 2004). 
Nest density was most highly correlated with 
high visual obstruction rating. In Louisiana 
mottled ducks preferred to nest where 
vegetation height was greater than at random 
points within the habitat (Durham and Afton, 
2003), and it was recommended that stocking 
rate and timing of grazing be managed to 
promote tall, dense stands during the March- 
June nesting season. 

Nesting and Reproductive Success. In 

Kentucky pastures were not grazed or were 
grazed by cattle at 1 animal unit ha" 1 to 
determine effects of grazing on grasshopper 
sparrow (Sutter and Ritchison, 2005). Clutch 
sizes averaged 4.5 and 3.9 in non-grazed and 
grazed areas, respectively, and nest success was 
70% in non-grazed vs. 25% in grazed swards. 
There was greater invertebrate biomass, more 
litter, and taller and denser vegetation in non- 
grazed areas. Most unsuccessful nests were 
depredated, and higher predation rates were 
attributed to less concealment in grazed areas. 
The authors attributed reproductive success 
in non-grazed areas to greater availability of 
prey and greater concealment from predators 
resulting in less nest disturbance. 

In Montana nest success was similar between 
grazed and non-grazed plots for two bird 
species, but greater in non-grazed areas for 
two other species, due to less predation and 
less trampling (Fondell and Ball, 2004). The 



u 



heterogeneity- 
based 
management, 
instead of 
emphasizing 
exclusively 
uniform use of 
vegetation, can 
alter vegetation 
structure and 
improve habitat 
for grassland 
birds. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



...management 
alternatives that 
avoid intensive 
grazing during 
the breeding 
season would 
benefit many bird 
species. 



authors suggested that management alternatives 
that avoid intensive grazing during the breeding 
season would benefit many bird species. In west 
Texas nest losses due to trampling were directly 
proportional to stocking rate (Koerth et al., 
1983). In Louisiana successful nests of mottled 
ducks were found in areas with a greater 
number of plant species and greater vegetation 
density than unsuccessful nests (Durham and 
Afton, 2003). Mammalian predators caused 
most failures, and the authors recommended 
managing stocking rate and timing of grazing 
to promote tall, dense stands during the nesting 
season. 

In England black grouse reproductive success 
was compared in pastures where sheep were 
stocked at regional average rates and a third 
of normal levels (Calladine et al., 2002). 
Proportion of hens retaining broods late in 
the chick-rearing period was 54% and 32% 
for low vs. normal stocking rate, indicating 
that manipulation of grazing intensity can 
contribute to conservation of black grouse. In 
Scotland sheep were stocked at rates of 2.7, 0.9, 
and 0.6 ewes ha" 1 , or swards were not grazed to 
evaluate effects on meadow pipit (Evans et al., 
2005). The highest stocking rate was associated 
with the smallest eggs and lowest stocking rate 
with the largest eggs, but non-grazed plots had 
smaller eggs than lightly grazed plots. There 
was no effect of egg size on fledgling success. 
The authors suggested that grazing intensity 
affected the food supply and the amount of 
resources that the parents could allocate to egg 
production. 

As with avian abundance, nesting success is 
not always affected by grazing intensity. In 
Idaho (Austin et al., 2007) and Oregon (Ivey 
and Dugger, 2008), no difference was found 
in nesting success of the sandhill crane due to 
livestock grazing. In both environments the 
major factor affecting nesting success was water 
level and its effect on predation. In Missouri 
nest success of the prairie chicken was related 
to amount of litter and presence of forbs and 
woody cover (McKee et al., 1998). Nest success 
declined with increasing woody cover, with 
decreasing grass and forb cover, and when litter 
cover was above 25%. More litter delayed grass 
growth, reduced nest cover, and increased small 
mammal populations resulting in increased 
predation. 



Mammals 

Field vole abundance in pastureland is 
important because of their role as a food 
source for other species and because they 
damage young trees by chewing on bark 
(Evans et al., 2006a). Vole abundance was 
greater in plots with low vs. high stocking rate 
and with low stocking rate of sheep plus cattle 
compared with sheep alone. Low stocking rate 
favored voles because of greater food resources 
and greater cover to protect from avian 
predators. 

In Oregon several species of small mammals 
had lower abundance in heavily vs. lightly 
grazed sites, and biomass of small mammals 
was lower under heavy grazing (Johnston and 
Anthony, 2008). Preference was evident for 
vegetative cover, and a reduction in grazing 
pressure was recommended to increase small 
mammal biomass. 

In Greece lightly grazed pastures were less 
preferred by brown hares compared with 
moderately grazed ones, and non-grazed 
pastures were less preferred by hares than 
grazed ones (Karmiris and Nastis, 2007). 
Greater use of moderately grazed pastures by 
hares was associated with reduced herbage 
height and density, allowing hares to see 
approaching predators. 

Cattle grazing intensity (0%, 50%, 70%, 
and 90% removal of standing crop) of 
rough fescue during autumn in Montana 
did not alter pasture species composition 
for subsequent grazing in spring by elk and 
deer (Short and Knight, 2003). The 50% and 
90% removal treatments reduced live herbage 
mass the subsequent spring but not in 
summer. It was recommended that autumn 
grazing remove 70% of herbage mass to 
reduce standing dead material the subsequent 
spring. 

Reptiles 

The spur-thighed tortoise is an endangered 
reptile present in semiarid and Mediterranean 
agro-ecosystems where livestock grazing 
occurs in Spain (Anadon et al., 2006). The 
main threat to the tortoise is habitat loss and 
fragmentation. Tortoises selected areas with 
intermediate annual grass cover and rejected 
areas with low and high grass cover. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Invertebrates 

Foliar arthropods are an important component 
of bird diets. Increasing stocking rate of sheep 
and replacing cattle with sheep have been 
associated with declines in many upland birds 
in Scotland, and a link may exist between 
declines in bird populations and availability of 
arthropod prey (Dennis et al, 2008). 

In Scotland arthropod biomass was lower in 
areas grazed with sheep at the commercial 
density than at one-third that density during 
3 yr (Dennis et al., 2008). In Sweden insect 
species richness was negatively affected by 
increasing grazing intensity and decreasing 
sward height (Soderstrom et al., 2001). In 
the Northeast USA, low stocking rates and 
high soil moisture were most highly positively 
correlated with number of macroinvertebrates 
(Byers and Barker, 2000). 

Unlike many insect groups, spiders do not 
have strong host-plant associations (Bell et 
al., 2001), so sward structure of grasslands is 
more important than plant species present. 
Low grazing intensity leads to deeper litter 
layers and more architecturally diverse 
vegetation, which increases spider diversity, 
especially the number of web spinners. Rigid 
vegetation favors web spinners, so livestock 
avoidance of certain weed species provides 
structure for webs. Dung spots and other 
products of animal grazing encourage tall 
vegetation that provides structural support 
for webs. Grazing at low intensity appears to 
be preferable for most spiders, and a mosaic 
of short and taller patches may benefit 
spiders. In heavily grazed areas, e.g., by sheep, 
provision of some areas not closely grazed to 
allow accumulation of litter provides good 
habitat for spiders. 

The effects of stocking rate on habitat score 
of water bodies and macroinvertebrate 
populations were determined on five first- 
order western Virginia streams (Braccia and 
Voshell, 2006). Habitat score decreased from 
non-stocked to intermediate grazing intensity 
(154 cattle ha" 1 ) and remained relatively 
unchanged with heavy and very heavy grazing 
intensities (2.1 and 2.9 cattle ha" 1 , respectively). 
The physical habitat metrics of suspended 
sediment and substrate homogeneity in water 
were the largest drivers of macroinvertebrate 



populations. In a New Zealand riparian 
area, intensive grazing reduced streamside 
vegetation and increased bank damage, thus 
increasing stream temperatures and in-stream 
sedimentation. This, in turn, negatively 
influenced macroinvertebrate communities 
(QuinnetaL, 1992). 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Grazing Intensity 

The effect of grazing intensity on wildlife has 
received far more attention than any other 
grazing strategy, and most research has focused 
on avian response. The literature supports 
the conclusion that grazing intensity affects 
avian species abundance and richness, nest site 
selection, and nesting success. High grazing 
intensity reduced avian abundance due to loss 
of preferred habitat for nesting, destruction of 
nests due to trampling, and fewer invertebrate 
food sources (Fuller and Gough, 1999). 

In some cases, low grazing intensity positively 
affects bird populations because of less 
trampling damage of nests by livestock and an 
increase in voles and other small mammals that 
serve as food for owls and raptors, but it can 
also increase nest predation of ground-nesting 
birds as a result of greater population of small 
mammals. Soderstrom et al. (2001) indicated 
that the importance of landscape composition 
for mobile organisms, such as birds, implies 
that management strategies should focus on 
providing diverse habitats within the wider 
countryside and not exclusively on single 
pastures or the grazing management of those 
pastures. 

Clearly, selecting the proper grazing intensity 
should be a primary focus in developing 
and carrying out management plans for 
agroecosystems in which livestock production 
and wildlife preservation are concurrent 
objectives. The literature is equally clear, 
however, that responses to grazing intensity 
can vary widely among wildlife species. Thus, 
choice of grazing intensity must be evaluated 
within the context of what management 
practices benefit the broad array of wildlife 
present in the ecosystem and not only a high- 
profile species. 

Further, indirect effects of grazing intensity 
can be as important, or in some cases more 



u 



...grazing 

intensity affects 

avian species 

abundance and 

richness, nest site 

selection, and 

nesting success. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 




Riparian buffer strips in 
combination with fencing 
can be used to exclude or 
limit livestock access to riparian 
areas, improving water quality 
and wildlife habitat. Photo by 
Carmen Agouridis, University 
of Kentucky. 



important, than direct effects on target wildlife 
populations. Indirect effects can be mediated 
through changes in vegetation abundance 
or structure, plant sources of food, water 
quality, and abundance of prey and predators. 
Although excessive grazing intensity is clearly 
detrimental, an argument for allowing grazing 
in the landscape can be made based on the 
concept of livestock as "ecosystems engineers" 
that can alter vegetation structure in positive 
ways and improve habitat for grassland birds 
(Derner et al., 2009). 

In a review of North American grasslands, 
Frisina and Mariani (1995) suggest that 
grazing management strategies should 
focus on sustaining healthy vegetation and 
ensuring the presence of wildlife species or 
communities that play a role in ecosystem 
dynamics. Long-term management practices 
should allow only base-line or "natural" 
levels of soil erosion and maintain good 



water quality, with a broad ecosystem focus 
instead of meeting the needs of one or two 
charismatic wildlife species and a particular 
class of livestock. Grazing intensity is a very 
important prescribed grazing tool in achieving 
these objectives. 

STOCKING METHOD 

Only eight studies were found that examined 
the effects of stocking method of pastureland 
on macroinvertebrate, small mammal, and 
bird responses. The plant community is closely 
linked to mammalian and avian populations, 
and as such the effects of stocking method 
on vegetation response can have significant 
indirect impacts on habitat selection and 
reproductive success. 

Birds 

In Saskatchewan, Canada, no difference was 
found between season-long and rotational 
stocking in duck nest success (25% vs. 20%) 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



(Ignatiuk and Duncan, 2001). Residual 
vegetation did not differ among treatments. 
Nest success in pastures was greater than that 
in cultivated fields, suggesting that expanding 
area of pasture may increase duck populations. 
They concluded that cattle stocking rate exerts 
a greater influence on vegetative response than 
stocking method. 

In southwestern Wisconsin, grassland bird 
species richness, dominance, and density were 
compared on rotationally and continuously 
stocked riparian areas and on cropland with 
a 10-m non-grazed buffer strip (Renfrew and 
Ribic, 2001). No difference was seen in bird 
responses among land-use types. Rotational 
stocking did not support more grassland birds 
than continuous stocking. Instead, bird density 
was related to vegetation structure, with higher 
density found on sites with deeper litter, which 
generally were the non-grazed buffer strips. 

In west Texas, loss of nests due to cattle 
trampling was 15% and 9% under continuous 
and rotational stocking, respectively, and 
was directly proportional to stocking rate, 
suggesting that stocking method had little 
effect (Koerth et al., 1983). In southwestern 
Wisconsin, beef heifers on pasture were 
rotated each day, every 4 d, or every 7 d to 
determine if stocking method affected percent 
trampling of simulated bird nests (Paine et al., 
1996). Nest survival (new nests were placed 
before each grazing cycle) after eight grazing 
events per treatment averaged 25% and was 
not affected by treatment. Nest destruction 
decreased with increased vegetation height, 
density, and percent cover. The authors 
suggested that better nest protection can be 
achieved by allowing cattle grazing when 
forage is plentiful and leaving a large amount 
of residual forage. 

In Canada, early-hatched waterfowl are more 
likely than late-hatched to enter the breeding 
population, so a study was conducted to 
determine factors that favored success of early- 
season nests (Emery et al, 2005). Managed 
cover types (especially delayed hay production) 
provided greater nesting success than 
unmanaged cover types (13% vs. 5%). The 
authors suggested that managers can influence 
growth of the breeding population through 
restoration, protection, or management of 



nesting cover. Rotational stocking and delayed 
grazing were not better than unmanaged 
grazing. 

Small Mammals 

In Wisconsin both abundance and species 
richness of small mammals were greater on 
buffer strips than on both continuously or 
rotationally stocked riparian areas, and stocking 
methods were not different (Chapman and 
Ribic, 2002). No evidence was found that small 
mammals responded to the development of 
greater cover during rest periods of rotational 
stocking or that conversion from continuous 
to rotational stocking had significant influence 
on small mammal communities in riparian 
areas. Conversion of land from grain to grass 
production, however, benefited small mammal 
communities. 

Macroinvertebrates 

In Wisconsin continuous stocking of riparian 
buffers negatively affected macroinvertebrate 
assemblages, but those present had a high 
tolerance for organic pollutants (Weigel et al., 
2000). Woody buffers supported species with 
a low tolerance for organic pollutants while 
rotationally stocked pastures and grass buffers 
had species with intermediate tolerance. 
When grazing occurred along Minnesota 
streams, impairment of water quality 
was greater at sites stocked continuously 
than rotationally (Sovell et al., 2000). No 
difference was seen in macroinvertebrate 
populations, however, between continuous 
and rotational stocking. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Stocking Method 

A limited number of studies have evaluated 
effects of livestock stocking methods on 
wildlife. With the exception of certain riparian 
macroinvertebrate assemblages, which are 
responsive to water quality changes due to 
stocking method, choice of stocking method 
did not have a significant effect on wildlife 
responses. Because of the limited data 
available, further studies are warranted, as was 
elaborated in the soil response section of this 
chapter. Based on the literature available at 
present, choice of livestock grazing intensity 
on pastureland appears to be more critical for 
success of wildlife than is choice of stocking 
method. 



u 



Conversion 

of land from 

grain to grass 

production... 

benefited 

small mammal 

communities." 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



Increasing use 
of warm-season 
grasses... was 
recommended to 
support increased 
bird populations." 



SEASON OF GRAZING 
AND DEFERMENT 

Seven studies assessed the effect of season of 
pastureland grazing on wildlife responses. Six 
of the studies focused on avian species with 
emphasis on nest site selection and nesting 
success. 

Avian Nest Site Selection and 
Nesting Success 

Durant et al. (2008) reviewed livestock grazing 
effects on sward structure and the effect of 
timing of grazing on breeding wader birds. 
Early-spring-nesting birds were primarily 
affected by the high intensity of grazing during 
the previous autumn that reduced spring 
forage growth. Later-nesting species were 
more likely to be dependent on spring grazing 
patterns. Restricting livestock grazing or using 
reduced stocking rates in April through May 
is recommended so birds do not avoid areas 
where livestock are present or so livestock do 
not disturb nests. They concluded grazing may 
have, according to the season and bird species, 
positive or negative effects on bird breeding 
success. They noted that heterogeneity on a 
larger spatial scale is often important to site 
selection, so results also depend on factors 
beyond the individual pasture level. 

In North Dakota nest density of upland 
sandpipers was lower for treatments where 
cattle were present during the nesting season 
(spring, both spring and autumn, and season- 
long grazing), but treatment did not affect 
nesting success (Bowen and Kruse, 1993). 
They recommended that areas with breeding 
populations of upland sandpipers include a 
complex of pastures under various management 
practices, including those that are not disturbed 
during spring. 

In California nest density for various ducks 
in summer and geese and sandhill cranes in 
winter was measured in pastureland that was 
not grazed or was rotationally stocked with 
cow-calf pairs from 1 July through 1 November 
(Carroll et al., 2007). Nest initiation occurred 
in March through May, but all were inactive by 
1 July when grazing began. Rotational stocking 
during the grazing season provided short, grassy 
vegetation that favored nesting by geese and 
cranes during the following winter, and still 
allowed vegetation to recover sufficiently for 



the beginning of duck nesting in late March. 
Grazed sites had greater nest density. 

Grazing during the late spring nesting period 
reduced herbaceous cover that is critical to 
concealing sage grouse nests from predators 
(Beck and Mitchell, 2000). Tall grass cover 
was greater at successful nests than depredated 
nests. It was concluded that sage grouse 
prefer canopy cover of tall grasses (> 1 8 cm) 
and shrubs for nesting, forbs and insects for 
brood rearing, and herbaceous riparian areas 
for late-season foraging (Crawford et al., 
2004). Light to moderate grazing in the early 
season can promote forb abundance in both 
upland and riparian habitats that favor grouse. 
More intensive grazing can allow invasion by 
undesirable plant species. 

The decline in grassland bird populations in 
Pennsylvania was associated with widespread 
use of cool-season grasses that are mowed or 
grazed during early April to late June, when 
most grassland birds are nesting (Giuliano 
and Daves, 2002). When a portion of the 
farm was planted to warm-season grasses, 42 
avian species were found in warm-season and 
30 species in cool-season fields. Abundance 
of birds was 1.6 times greater in warm- than 
cool-season grass fields, nesting success was 
1.3 times greater, and fledge rates were 1.8 
times greater. Warm-season pasture provided 
greater cover during the nesting period 
and lower disturbance rates. Increasing use 
of warm-season grasses in the region was 
recommended to support increased bird 
populations. 

Invertebrates 

In Alberta, Canada, total invertebrate biomass 
was greatest during late-season and all- 
season grazing as compared with early-season 
grazing (Scrimgeour and Kendall, 2003), 
which was attributed to the presence of large 
species in late season. Total density changed 
little among treatments, which the authors 
attributed to the short duration (2 yr) of the 
study. They hypothesized that a longer time 
frame would be required to produce changes 
in invertebrate food resources before increases 
in invertebrate numbers could be realized. 
More studies of longer duration are needed 
to determine effects of timing of grazing on 
invertebrates. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Summary and Recommendations: 
Season of Grazing and Deferment 

Most studies on effects of season of grazing 
on wildlife assessed the effect of timing on 
vegetation characteristics at potential avian 
nesting sites or on nesting success. Desirable 
site characteristics vary among avian species, 
but heterogeneity in sward structure at the 
landscape scale can provide a wider range of 
sward characteristics for nest site location. 
Incorporating additional pastureland species, 
e.g., warm-season grasses in temperate regions, 
provides variation in sward structure within the 
landscape, and differences in seasons of growth 
of these species make it relatively easy to vary 
the timing of grazing in support of wildlife 
populations. 

TYPE AND CLASS OF LIVESTOCK 

Only two papers were found that addressed 
the role of type and class of livestock on 
wildlife. Both papers focused primarily 
on effects of livestock species on sward 
heterogeneity and its subsequent effect 
on population of invertebrates that are 
important prey for some grassland birds. In 
Scotland increasing stocking rate of sheep and 
replacing cattle with sheep were associated 
with declines in many upland birds that may 
be linked to availability of arthropod prey. 
At 18 and 30 mo, arthropod biomass was 
twice as great in non-grazed and sheep plus 
cattle treatments than in pastures grazed with 
sheep only (Dennis et al., 2008). Including 
cattle increased sward structural diversity 
and arthropod abundance, likely favoring 
bird populations over time. Similarly, in a 
review of spider populations in pastureland, 
greater variation or patchiness in sward height 
favored spiders (Bell et al., 2001). The authors 
cautioned against grazing by sheep at high 
stocking rates and recommended use of lower 
stocking rates and/or mixed grazing to create a 
mosaic of short and tall swards. 

DISTRIBUTION OF LIVESTOCK IN 
THE LANDSCAPE 

There has been limited research (11 papers cited) 
on effects of livestock distribution in pastureland 
on wildlife, with most considering exclusion 
of livestock from waterways and construction 
of riparian buffers. Agriculture activities may 
contribute the largest amount of sediment to 
streams, primarily through row crop cultivation 



in flood-prone areas and livestock grazing in 
riparian areas (Waters, 1995). 

Birds 

In Florida breeding pairs of crested caracaras 
selected pastureland as home range more 
than forest, oak scrub, and marsh (Morrison 
and Humphrey, 2001). Compared with pairs 
nesting in natural areas, those nesting on 
land used for cattle ranching exhibited higher 
rates of breeding- area occupancy, attempted 
breeding during more years, initiated egg laying 
earlier, exhibited higher nesting success, and 
more often attempted a second brood after 
successfully fledging a first. Reasons for these 
responses are not clear nor are the effects of 
specific grazing practices, but the importance of 
pastureland habitat to reproduction of crested 
caracaras is well established. 

In Portugal species richness of grassland 
wintering birds was determined primarily by 
the broader landscape context, and abundance 
was determined mostly by field management 
(Moreira et al., 2005). High species richness 
was associated with diverse landscapes, high 
stream density, and forest and shrub cover that 
act as sources of nonagri cultural avian species 
to pastureland. Fields located in homogeneous, 
arable landscapes tended to be species poor 
though they had the highest abundance of 
seed-eating birds, particularly winter visitors. 

In Wisconsin a variety of land uses including 
alfalfa hay field, dry pasture, and cool-season 
grass pasture were evaluated for grassland bird 
species richness. Structure and composition 
of the landscape and patch size were the most 
important factors to consider in affecting 
species richness and management for grassland 
birds (Sample et al., 2003). 

Reptiles and Amphibians 

In Pennsylvania there was no effect due to 
exclusion of beef cattle from riparian areas for 
1 to 2 yr on abundance, richness, or biomass 
of all reptile and amphibian species combined 
(Homyack and Giuliano, 2002). Northern 
queen snakes and eastern garter snakes were 
more abundant in riparian areas where cattle 
were excluded. The authors suggested that 
these reptiles and amphibians likely require 
> 4 yr to respond to changes in management 
due to reproductive potential, proximity to 



u 



Desirable site 

characteristics 

vary among 

avian species" 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



...pasturelcmd is 
one component 
of a diverse 
landscape and 
not the sole 
source of wildlife 
habitat in a 
given region." 



nearest remnant population, and dispersal 
ability. Also, such areas likely did not have 
sufficient time for vegetation, water quality, 
and macroinvertebrate populations to recover, 
thus allowing herpetofauna to recolonize the 
sites. This underscores the need for longer-term 
studies to allow the ecosystem to equilibrate. 

Invertebrates and Fish 

Stream physical habitat and fish communities 
were evaluated in Wisconsin during 13 yr 
(Wang et al, 2006). Only stream segments 
with riparian buffers protected by exclusion 
fencing showed major improvements in 
stream physical habitat. Improvements in fish 
community structure were not found for any 
of the implemented practices; however, annual 
measurements varied substantially, and this 
pointed to the need for long-term studies. 

While examining macroinvertebrate 
communities in Pennsylvania streams with 
exclusion fencing and riparian restoration, 
Carline and Walsh (2007) found only modest 
improvements in community composition 
and structure. Treatments improved 
macroinvertebrate density in the stream, which 
was attributed to lower suspended sediment 
levels. Installation of exclusion fencing in 
Pennsylvania allowed channel revegetation 
and a 30% increase in total number of 
macroinvertebrates (Galeone, 2000). In 
Wisconsin continuous stocking reduced 
macroinvertebrate populations more than did 
rotational stocking, woody buffer strips, or 
grass buffer strips (Weigel et al., 2000). 

Mammals 

In Wisconsin buffer strips led to increased 
species richness of small mammals and 
greater abundance (3-5 times) compared 
with managed intensive rotational stocking 
(Chapman and Ribic, 2002). Additionally, 
small mammal abundance was greatest 
within 5 m of the stream, regardless of the 
presence or absence of buffers, indicating 
the importance of stream-side zones as 
habitat. In southwestern Pennsylvania, small 
mammal species richness was 1.7 times 
greater and abundance was 2.2 times greater 
when livestock were excluded (Giuliano and 
Homyack, 2004). Results were attributed to 
2.3 times greater litter cover and benefits from 
vertical vegetation obstruction. 



In Spain the Iberian ibex is a wild goat that is 
endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and is a close 
relative of the domestic goat with similar feeding 
habits (Acevedo et al, 2007). The presence of 
the domestic goat caused the ibex to occupy a 
different habitat, often one that was suboptimal. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
Livestock Distribution in the Landscape 

The literature indicates that pastureland 
grazed by livestock provides important habitat 
for wildlife species and that it is possible to 
manage pastureland for the benefit of both 
livestock and wildlife. It must be recognized, 
however, that pastureland is one component 
of a diverse landscape and not the sole source 
of wildlife habitat in a given region. Further, 
pasture species have different growth habits and 
are grazed differently by different herbivores. 
Thus, distribution of livestock throughout 
the diverse landscape can produce important 
niches for particular wildlife species (e.g., the 
crested caracaras in Florida) and the diversity 
of landscape features required by other species. 
Restricting livestock access to surface waters is 
justified by the current literature. Changes in 
water quality affect invertebrate populations 
relatively quickly, and buffer strips associated 
with livestock restriction result in relatively 
rapid increases in abundance and richness of 
small mammal populations. Restoring richness 
and abundance of reptiles, amphibians, and fish 
is a longer-term process that may require several 
years, but one that appears to be achievable. 

OVERALL CONCLUSIONS AND 
RECOMMENDATIONS 

GRAZING INTENSITY 
Achieving Purposes of Prescribed 
Grazing through Managing 
Grazing Intensity 

The literature strongly supports the conclusion 
that grazing intensity is the prescribed grazing 
practice having the greatest impact on forage, 
animal, soil, water, and wildlife responses in 
pastureland. Grazing intensity affects forage 
mass and nutritive value and plays a major role 
in vigor and species composition/richness of 
plant communities. Increasing grazing intensity 
decreases forage mass on pastureland, and 
this is the primary determinant of the strong 
negative correlation between individual animal 
performance and grazing intensity. Increases 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



in grazing intensity have been linked to greater 
nutrient, sediment, and fecal coliform loading 
in water bodies, streambank erosion, and soil 
compaction resulting in decreased rainfall 
infiltration rates. 

Evidence in the literature exists that increasing 
soil erosion, soil compaction, and declining soil 
quality are caused by excessive stocking rate. 
Avian species abundance and richness, nest 
site selection, and nesting success all have been 
negatively affected by high grazing intensity. 
The literature is equally clear, however, that the 
response to grazing intensity can vary widely 
for different wildlife species. Consequently, 
choice of grazing intensity must be evaluated 
considering the needs of livestock and the 
requirements of the broad array of wildlife 
species present in the ecosystem and not just 
those of a single high-profile species. 

In conclusion, selecting the proper grazing 
intensity should be a primary focus in 
developing and carrying out management 
plans for agroecosystems in which livestock 
production, ecosystem health, and wildlife 
preservation are concurrent objectives. If 
conservation planning fails to identify, achieve, 
and maintain the proper grazing intensity, the 
secondary factors such as choice of stocking 
method, season of grazing and deferment, or 
any other prescribed grazing strategy will not 
be able to overcome this failure. 

Further, when climatic or other conditions 
lead to deviation of ecosystem balance away 
from the defined goals, some form of adaptive 
management must be implemented to correct 
grazing intensity and other factors to allow the 
system to equilibrate. Thus, in addition to the 
skill in planning, designing, and implementing 
the prescribed grazing standard, educational 
programs are needed to assist the manager in 
recognizing changes and adjusting management 
strategies to achieve system goals. This would 
be aided by a process of periodic monitoring by 
NRCS to assist in evaluating the success of the 
practice and in identifying needs for adaptive 
management. 

Gaps in the Published Literature 
regarding Grazing Intensity 

The general nature of the relationship between 
forage quantity and grazing intensity and that 



between individual animal performance and 
grazing intensity has been well defined. Despite 
statements regarding the importance of grazing 
intensity as a controlling variable in ecosystem 
health, little research has been conducted 
in that area. Critical thresholds for grazing 
intensity, above which lead to occurrences of 
substantial environmental impacts, have not 
been established in the USA for pasturelands. 
This would be a valuable first step. Then the 
interactions among the predominant or desired 
forage, livestock, and wildlife species occupying 
the grassland need to be quantified. This will 
likely need modeling efforts. 

A great need also exists for conducting 
comprehensive grazing intensity studies 
(measuring soil, water, air, wildlife, plant, 
and animal responses) in several locations 
within the humid USA. This work would best 
be done by well-funded and accomplished 
multidisciplinary teams of scientists at 
strategically selected and appropriately 
equipped regional centers. Team members 
need not all work at one location but could 
be brought together to develop experimental 
protocols for the project and to synthesize the 
data generated. 

Once data are accumulated and evaluated, 
modeling approaches can assist in transferring 
the technology and expanding inference of 
responses to a wider range of ecosystems. 
This requires more education of the NRCS 
personnel and others to train producers, but it 
would help advisors predict and monitor the 
appropriate grazing strategies for a given site. 
Models could integrate site-specific information 
on crop and pasture systems to define, from a 
landscape perspective, the role of the pasture 
in providing ecosystem services, including 
water quality and habitat for wildlife. This 
approach would inform decision makers about 
the appropriate forage species and prescribed 
grazing practices needed to meet specific goals 
at the farm and the broader ecosystem level. 

STOCKING METHOD 
Achieving Purposes of Prescribed 
Grazing through Managing 
Stocking Method 

The pastureland literature supports a conclusion 
that rotational stocking increases forage 
quantity-related responses relative to continuous 



u 



Critical thresholds 

for grazing 

intensity, above 

which lead to 

occurrences 

of substantial 

environmental 

impacts, have 

not been 

established. ..for 

pasturelands." 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



...stocking 
method (is) 
an important 
prescribed 
grazing practice, 
but one that is 
secondary... to 
grazing intensity 



stocking. The effect of stocking method on 
forage nutritive value is inconclusive, and 
although the literature indicates that stocking 
method affects pasture botanical composition 
and persistence, interactions with other factors, 
especially grazing intensity, make it impossible 
to generalize about which stocking method is 
best across situations. The literature supports 
a conclusion that rest periods between grazing 
events provide greater flexibility in choice of 
grazing intensity. The literature also supports 
that grazed grasslands maintain greater plant 
species richness than non-grazed areas and 
that prescribed grazing is a key component 
in sustaining species diversity of grassland 
communities. 

Daily animal production is generally not 
affected by stocking method, with an exception 
being when species composition of the pasture 
changes over time due to stocking method. 
The effect on gain per ha is less clear, but when 
differences occur, they generally favor rotational 
stocking. Conclusions from this pastureland 
review are in general agreement with those 
of Briske et al. (2008) for rangeland, with 
the exception that there appears to be greater 
likelihood of an advantage in pasturelands for 
higher gain per ha for rotationally stocking 
over continuous stocking than there is for 
rotationally stocked rangeland. This could 
be due to the plant species used, amount of 
inputs, differences in rainfall, and potential for 
greater plant growth. 

The majority of studies on stocking method 
effects on water quality, hydrology, and stream 
morphology indicate that rotational stocking 
has less negative effect than continuous 
stocking. Accumulation of additional forage 
mass and ground cover during regrowth periods 
accounts for some of the benefits attributed 
to rotational stocking. In total, the literature 
supports stocking method as an important 
prescribed grazing practice, but one that is 
secondary in importance to grazing intensity. 

Gaps in the Published Literature 
regarding Stocking Method 

Briske et al. (2008) concluded that "a 
continuation of costly grazing experiments 
adhering to conventional research protocols 
will yield little additional information." 
However, based on the current literature 



assessment for humid pastures, the most 
compelling justification for additional stocking 
method studies is to assess their impact on 
responses beyond pasture plants and domestic 
animals, specifically soil, water, and wildlife. 
The lack of information regarding the influence 
of stocking method on soil, water, and wildlife 
responses suggests need for such comparisons 
at strategically selected sites throughout 
the humid pastureland regions of the USA. 
Multidisciplinary teams of the best scientists 
nationally should be assembled to coordinate 
these studies, so that treatment selection and 
response measurements are done in a manner 
that will generate conclusive results and 
support potential modeling efforts. This work 
would serve as an authoritative guide to future 
prescribed grazing recommendations. 

In agreement with Briske et al. (2008), more 
consistent or standardized research protocols 
are needed for stocking method comparisons of 
forage mass, accumulation, nutritive value, and 
species composition. Based on the preliminary 
data available, more measurements are needed 
on plant and soil factors that contribute to 
wildlife habitat and food sources. The studies 
need to be multidisciplinary and long term to 
capture responses along the way to ecosystem 
stabilization and for evaluating the treatments 
while at steady state. 

SEASON OF GRAZING 

AND DEFERMENT 

Achieving Purposes of Prescribed 

Grazing through Season of 

Grazing and Deferment 

Stockpiling is the most common deferred 
stocking practice and is useful for extending 
the grazing season, reducing reliance on 
stored feed, and improving animal health and 
performance. Timing of initiation, termination, 
and deferral of grazing, along with inclusion 
of complementary cool- and warm-season 
forages in the production system are important 
prescribed grazing practices for maintaining 
forage cover and desired sward botanical 
composition. 

Ground cover is critical because the largest 
negative effects on water quality typically 
occur when cover is compromised, particularly 
N0 3 -N leaching and sediment loss. Highest 
runoff rates occur during dormant seasons 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



when evapotranspiration is lowest; thus winter 
feeding on grassland can impact water quality 
significantly. 

Animals grazing on unstable or wet soil can 
increase soil bulk density and penetration 
resistance and decrease aggregation, all of 
which will negatively affect productivity and 
environmental quality. Research supports the 
removal of livestock from riparian areas during 
periods of high soil saturation. 

Most wildlife studies relate to the effect of 
timing of grazing on vegetation characteristics 
at potential avian nesting sites or on nesting 
success. For many avian species, deferral 
of grazing is critical for nesting success. 
Incorporating additional pastureland species 
is a practice that provides variation in sward 
structure and differences in seasons of growth, 
making it relatively easy to vary the timing of 
grazing. 



Gaps in the Published Literature 
regarding Season of Grazing and 
Deferment 

As need increases for high-quality forage in 
pastures, additional research into optimal 
timing of initiation, termination, and deferral 
of grazing will be critical. Relatively little of 
this work has been done in the USA. Effects of 
timing of initiation of grazing on subsequent 
forage production and nutritive value, and the 
effect of timing of termination on persistence 
and regrowth suggest that this is an area that 
would benefit from increased research. 

There remains a need for comprehensive 
studies to understand the multitude of soil 
changes in response to season of grazing and 
deferment. For example, it is unclear whether 
season of grazing or deferment might affect 
long-term soil organic matter accumulation 
and how, in turn, this affects soil quality and 
forage and animal productivity. Questions 



Excessive stocking rates can 
reduce herbage mass and 
vegetative cover and increase 
occurrence of soil erosion. Photo 
by Lynn Belts, USDA NRCS. 




CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



u 



Distance to water 
is more important 
than paddock 
size with respect 
to optimizing 
grazing 
distribution 
and animal 
performance." 



remain regarding exclusion of livestock from 
riparian areas, including the level and timing 
of such disturbances and their effect on plant, 
mammalian, avian, and benthic species. 
Obtaining this knowledge would allow for 
improved management of pasturelands and 
their riparian areas to support livestock 
production while improving diversity and 
numbers of nonlivestock species. 

TYPE AND CLASS OF LIVESTOCK 
Achieving Purposes of Prescribed 
Grazing through Type and Class of 
Livestock 

Within a livestock species, no evidence 
was found that breed or age has significant 
effects on pasture characteristics or ecosystem 
services. The literature supports a conclusion 
that co-grazing or grazing by particular species 
can be used effectively as a prescribed grazing 
tool to manipulate botanical composition 
of pastures and to decrease abundance of 
invasive, unwanted, or potentially toxic plants. 
Relative to animal health and production, 
the consensus of the literature is that choice 
of animal species is less critical than grazing 
intensity. Little comparative evidence exists 
in the humid USA to assess the effects of 
livestock type and class on soil erosion and 
condition. Only two papers were found 
that addressed the role of type and class of 
livestock on wildlife, and both focused on the 
impact of livestock species on sward structural 
diversity and arthropod abundance. Grazing 
by cattle or cattle plus sheep, instead of sheep 
alone, created greater variation or patchiness 
in sward height favoring spiders, an important 
food source of some birds. 

Gaps in the Published Literature 
regarding Type and Class of Livestock 

Further research on plant response to grazing 
by type and class of livestock is needed 
because studies to date have been limited both 
geographically and in the forage species tested. 
The interaction between livestock species and 
stocking rate is not well understood in terms 
of plant and animal response, but especially 
on wildlife and soil and water responses, and 
is an important area for future research. Little 
research has assessed the effect of various 
livestock species on water quality, hydrology, 
riparian health, and watershed function. 
Research into the environmental responses 



from differing grazing livestock is needed 
as age, physical characteristics, and grazing 
behavior vary among species. Particularly 
lacking is research on the effects of horses and 
sheep. 

Better understanding of the effects of different 
types of livestock on the environment will help 
develop best management practices such as 
riparian buffers and refine grazing techniques to 
mitigate problems such as overgrazing. A great 
need exists to determine the differential effects 
of single-species, single- age, mixed-species, and 
mixed- age livestock effects on soil erosion and 
soil condition in the humid USA. 

DISTRIBUTION OF LIVESTOCK IN 
THE LANDSCAPE 
Achieving Purposes of Prescribed 
Grazing through Distribution of 
Livestock in the Landscape 

Sloping areas often have shorter livestock 
grazing time and are associated with greater 
species richness and legume proportion, 
but lower rates of herbage accumulation 
than summit or toeslope areas. Shade has 
a greater impact on livestock distribution 
than does location of water source during 
warm seasons or in warm climates. Distance 
to water is more important than paddock 
size with respect to optimizing grazing 
distribution and animal performance. This 
suggests that increasing the number of 
shade and watering points in conjunction 
with decreasing paddock size minimizes 
spot grazing and reduces associated stand 
deterioration. From an animal health and 
production standpoint, key management 
factors include minimizing distance to water, 
increasing quality of drinking water by 
providing alternatives to surface water, and 
providing shade. These prescribed grazing 
practices should be considered as part of an 
overall management plan. 

Distribution of livestock throughout the 
landscape can provide important niches for 
particular wildlife species and the diverse 
landscape features required by other species. 
The majority of the literature pertaining to 
livestock distribution effects on water and 
wildlife addresses exclusion fencing and riparian 
buffers. Restricting livestock access to surface 
waters is justified by the current literature 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



because changes in water quality occur quickly 
and affect wildlife populations. Livestock 
restriction from riparian areas has resulted 
in relatively rapid increases in abundance 
and richness of small mammal populations. 
Restoring richness and abundance of reptiles, 
amphibians, and fish is a longer-term process, 
but one that appears to be achievable. 

Gaps in the Published Literature 
reqardinq Distribution of Livestock in 
the Landscape 

The literature describing plant and animal 
responses to livestock distribution is limited. 
Greater research efforts are also needed to 
understand the effects of livestock distribution 
management systems on shallow groundwater 
quality and recharge. Livestock distribution 
is a research area where scientists evaluating 
soil, water, and wildlife responses could 
collaborate more closely with pasture and 
animal scientists. 

Final Synopsis 

The NRCS has developed conservation 
practice standards to provide guidance for 
applying conservation technology on the land 
and setting the minimum acceptable level 
for application of the technology. The goal 
of this literature synthesis was to determine 
if practices defined in the Prescribed Grazing 
Practice Standard (Code 528) meet the 
purposes and criteria that were established 
for their implementation. The assessment was 
organized around five purposes or desired 
outcomes that arise from imposing prescribed 
grazing. Prescribed grazing strategies evaluated 
include grazing intensity, stocking method, 
season of grazing and deferment from grazing, 
type and class of livestock, and livestock 
distribution on the landscape. Summation 
assessments were made of the literature 
support for each purpose and their criteria in 
Code 528 (Table 3.1). 

Specific details regarding these strategies and 
their impacts on plant, livestock, water, soil, 
and wildlife were presented and summarized 
throughout this chapter. Prescribed grazing 
practices clearly have major influence on 
plant, livestock, water, soil, and wildlife. 
Proper grazing intensity is the most important 
prescribed grazing strategy on pastureland 
ecosystems, and conservation plans should 



prioritize its implementation. Stocking method 
is useful for fine-tuning the overall production 
system once an appropriate grazing intensity is 
imposed. Choice of rotational over continuous 
stocking has been shown to positively affect 
forage accumulation rate and forage utilization 
efficiency on pastureland as well as important 
measures of water quality. Season of grazing 
affects forage ground cover, which in turn 
influences water infiltration, runoff into 
surface water bodies, and availability of wildlife 
habitat, avian nesting sites, and food supply for 
wildlife and livestock. The literature describing 
effects of type and class of livestock was limited 
primarily to studies of effects of mixed-species 
grazing on plant communities. Most literature 
on distribution of livestock in the landscape has 
assessed the effects of shade, water, and fence 
placement on components of the pastureland 
ecosystem. 

Although societal interest and emphasis 
on soil, water, and wildlife is increasing, 
a paucity of literature addressing these 
ecosystem components is seen. This leads to a 
recommendation that future grazing studies on 
pastureland be more comprehensive in scope, 
including soil, water, and wildlife responses 
in addition to plant and livestock measures, 
and be carried out over longer time periods to 
allow the full impact of prescribed grazing to be 
quantified. These data would then provide the 
basis for development of effective pastureland 
ecosystem models. 

Last, there appears to be a significant future 
role for emphases, including 1) use of 
prescribed grazing to correct undesirable trends 
in pastureland response and restore desired 
grassland condition, 2) better education of end 
users regarding implementation of prescribed 
grazing technology, 3) detailed monitoring and 
reporting of the impacts of implementation of 
prescribed grazing practices to more effectively 
use adaptive management to adjust the system 
to meet goals, and 4) quantifying effects and 
interactions to guiding future assessments of 
their merit. 

References 

Abaye, A.O., V.G. Allen, and J. P. Fontenot. 
1994. Influence of grazing cattle and sheep 
together and separately on animal performance 
and forage quality./. Anim. Sci. 72:1013-1022. 



u 



...future grazing 

studies on 

pastureland 

should be more 

comprehensive in 

scope, including 

soil, water, 

and wildlife 

responses, ...and 

be carried out 

over longer time 

periods 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



Abaye, A.O., V.G. Allen, and J. P. Fontenot. 
1997. Grazing sheep and cattle together or 
separately: Effect on soils and plants. Agron. J. 
89:380-386. 

Abrams, P. 1980. Some comments on measuring 
niche overlap. Ecology 61:44—49. 

Acevedo, P., J. Cassinello, and C. Gortazar 
2007. The Iberian ibex is under an expansion 
trend but displaced to suboptimal habitats by 
the presence of extensive goat livestock in central 
Spain. Biodivers. Conserv. 16:3361-3376. 

Ackerman, C.J., H.T. Purvis II, G.W. Horn, S.I. 
Paisley, et al. 2001. Performance of light vs. 
heavy steers grazing plains old world bluestem at 
three stocking rates./ Anim. Sci. 79:493-499. 

Adjei, M.B., P. Mislevy, and C.Y. Ward. 1980. 
Response of tropical grasses to stocking rate. 
Agron. J. 72:863-868. 

Agouridis, C.T., D.R.. Edwards, S.R. Workman, 
J.R. Bicudo, et al. 2005a. Streambank erosion 
associated with grazing practices in the humid 
region. Trans. ASABE 48:181-190. 

Agouridis, C.T., S.R. Workman, R.C. Warner, 
and G.D. Jennings. 2005b. Livestock grazing 
management impacts on stream water quality: A 
review./. Am. Water Resour. Assoc. 41:591—606. 

Aguinaga, A.A., P.C.D. Carvalho, I. Anghinoni, 
A. Pilau, et al. 2008. Morphological 
components and forage production of oat (Avena 
strigosa Schreb) and annual ryegrass (Lolium 
multiflorum Lam.) pasture managed at different 
heights. Braz./. Anim. Sci. 37:1523-1530. 

Aiken, G.E. 1998. Steer performance and nutritive 
values for continuously and rotationally stocked 
bermudagrass sod-seeded with wheat and 
ryegrass./. Prod. Agric. 11:185-190. 

Aiken, G.E., WD. Pitman, C.G. Chambliss, 
and K.M. Portier. 1991. Responses of yearling 
steers to different stocking rates on a subtropical 
grass-legume pasture./ Anim. Sci. 69:3348- 
3356. 

Alcordo, I.S., P. Mislevy, and J.E. Rechcigl. 
1991. Effect of defoliation on root development 
of stargrass under greenhouse conditions. 
Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 22:493—504. 

Allen, V.G., C. Batello, E.J. Berretta, J. 
Hodgson, et al. 201 1 . An international 
terminology for grazing lands and grazing 
animals. Grass Forage Sci. 66:2-28. 

Allen, VG., J.E Fontenot, and R.A. Brock. 2000. 
Forage systems for production of stocker steers in 
the upper south./ Anim. Sci. 78:1973-1982. 

Allen, V.G., J. P. Fontenot, and D.R. Notter. 
1992a. Forage systems for beef production from 



conception to slaughter. II. Stocker systems. / 
Anim. Sci. 70:588-596. 

Allen, V.G., J.R Fontenot, R.F Kelly, and 
D.R. Notter 1996. Forage systems for beef 
production from conception to slaughter. III. 
Finishing systems. / Anim. Sci. 74:625- -638. 

Allen, V.G., J.P Fontenot, and D.R. Notter, 
and R.C. Hammes, Jr 1992b. Forage systems 
for beef production from conception to 
slaughter. I. Cow-calf production. / Anim. Sci. 
70:576-587. 

Anadon, J.D., A. Gimenez, I. Perez, M. 
Martinez, et al. 2006. Habitat selection 
by the spur-thighed tortoise Testudo graeca in 
a multisuccessional landscape: Implications 
for habitat management. Biodivers. Conserv. 
15:2287-2299. 

Anderson, B.C. 1991. Prevalence of 

Cryptosporidium muris- -like oocysts among cattle 
populations of the United States: preliminary 
report./ Protozool. 38:14S-15S. 

Anderson, B.C. 1998. Cryptosporidiosis 
in bovine and human health. / Dairy Sci. 
81:3036-3041. 

Animut, G., and A.L. Goetsch. 2008. Co-grazing 
of sheep and goats: Benefits and constraints. 
Small Ruminant Res. 77:127—145. 

Arnold, G.W. 1984. Spatial relationships between 
sheep, cattle and horse groups grazing together. 
Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 13:7-17. 

Arthington, J.D., EM. Roka, J.J. Mullahey, 
S.W Coleman, et al. 2007. Integrating ranch 
forage production, cattle performance, and 
economics in ranch management systems for 
southern Florida. Rangeland Ecol. Manage. 
60:12-18. 

ASABE. 2005. ASABE standards: Manure 

production and characteristics. ASABE D384.2 
MAR2005. Am. Soc. Agric. Biol. Eng., St. 
Joseph, MI. 

Ash, A., J. Gross, and M.S. Smith. 2004. Scale, 
heterogeneity and secondary production in 
tropical rangelands. Afr. J. Range Forage Sci. 
21:137-145. 

Atwill, E.R., L. Hou, B.M. Karle, T. Harter, 
et al. 2002. Transport of Cryptosporidium 
parvum oocysts through vegetated buffer strips 
and estimated filtration efficacy. Appl. Environ. 
Microbiol. 68:5517-5527. 

Atwill, E.R., E. Johnson, D.J. Klingborg, 
G.M. Veserat, et al. 1999. Age, geographic, 
and temporal distribution of fecal shedding of 
Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in cow-calf 
herds. Am. J. Vet. Res. 60:420-425. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Austin, J.E., A.R. Henry, and I.J. Ball. 2007. 
Sandhill crane abundance and nesting ecology at 
Grays Lake, Idaho./. Wildlife Manage. 71:1067- 
1079. 

Bagley, C.P., J.C. Carpenter, Jr, J.I. Feazel, 
EG. Hembry, et al. 1987. Effects of forage 
system on beef cow-calf productivity. /. Anim. 
Sci. 64:678-686. 

Banerjee, M.R., D.L. Burton, W.P. McCaughey, 
and C.A. Grant. 2000. Influence of pasture 
management on soil biological quality. J. Range 
Manage. 53:127-133. 

Barao, S.M., 1992. Behavioral aspects of 
technology adoption. /. Extension 30: 1—6. 

Barker, D.J., K.J. Moore, and J.A. Guretzky. 
2002. Spatial variation in species richness under 
contrasting topographies and grazing regimes. 
Proc. Am. For. Grassl. Conf. 11:222—225. 

Barnes, M.K., B.E. Norton, M. Maeno, and 
J.C. Malechek. 2008. Paddock size and 
stocking density affect spatial heterogeneity of 
grazing. Rangel. Ecol. Manage. 61: 380-388. 

Barnett, A.P., E.R. Beaty, and A.E. Dooley. 
1972. Runoff and soil losses from closely grazed 
fescue, a new concept in grass management for 
the Southern Piedmont. /. Soil Water Conserv. 
27:168-170. 

Bates, G.E., C.S. Hoveland, M.A. McCann, 
J.H. Bouton, et al. 1996. Plant persistence and 
animal performance for continuously stocked 
alfalfa pastures at three forage allowances. /. 
Prod.Agric. 9:418-423. 

Beck, J.L., and D.L. Mitchell. 2000. Influences 
of livestock grazing on sage grouse habitat. 
Wildl. Soc. Bull. 28:993-1002. 

Beconi, M.G., M.D. Howard, T.D. Forbes, 
et al. 1995. Growth and subsequent feedlot 
performance of estradiol-implanted vs 
nonimplanted steers grazing fall-accumulated 
endophyte-infested or low-endophyte tall fescue. 
J. Anim. Sci. 73:1576-1584. 

Belanger, L., and M. Picard. 1999. Cattle 
grazing and avian communities of the St. 
Lawrence River Islands. /, Range Manage. 
52:332-338. 

Belesky, D.R, and J.M. Fedders. 1995. 

Comparative growth analysis of cool- and warm- 
season grasses in a cool-temperate environment. 
Agron. J. 87:974-980. 

Bell, J.R., C.P. Wheater, and W.R. Cullen. 
2001. The implications of grassland and 
heathland management for the conservation of 
spider communities: A review. /. Zool. London 
255:377-387. 



Bellows, B. 2001. Livestock systems guide: 
Nutrient cycling in pastures. Appropriate 
Technology Transfer for Rural Areas, Fayetteville, 
AR. 

Belsky, A.J., A. Matzke, and S. Uselman. 1999. 
Survey of livestock influences on stream and 
riparian ecosystems in the western United States. 
/. Soil Water Conserv. 54:419-431. 

Benavides, R., R. Celaya, L.M.M. Ferreira, 
B.M. Jauregui, et al. 2009. Grazing behaviour 
of domestic ruminants according to flock type 
and subsequent vegetation changes on partially 
improved heathlands. Span. J. Agric. Res. 7:417- 
430. 

Bennett, D., F.H.W. Morley, K.W. Clark, and 
M.L. Dudzinski. 1970. The effect of grazing 
cattle and sheep together. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 
Anim. Husk 10: 694-709. 

Bertelsen, B.S., D.B. Faulkner, D.D. 

Buskirk, and J.W. Castree. 1993. Beef cattle 
performance and forage characteristics of 
continuous, 6-paddock and 1 1 -paddock grazing 
systems. /. Anim. Sci. 71:1381-1389. 

Bilotta, G.S., R.E. Brazier, and P.M. Haygarth. 
2007. The impacts of grazing animals on the 
quality of soils, vegetation, and surface waters 
in intensively managed grasslands. Adv. Agron. 
94:237-280. 

Blaser, R.E., R.C. Hammes, Jr, J. P. Fontenot, 
H.T Bryant, et al. 1986. Forage-animal 
management systems. Virginia Agric. Exp. Stn. 
Bull. 86-7, Blacksburg, VA. 

Bourke, C. A. 2003. The effect of shade, shearing 
and wool type in the protection of Merino sheep 
from Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) 
poisoning. Aust. Vet. J. 81:494-499. 

Bowen, B.S., and A.D. Kruse. 1993. Effects 
of grazing on nesting by upland sandpipers in 
southcentral North Dakota. /. Wildl. Manage. 
57:291-301. 

Bown, M.D., D.G. McCall, M.L. Scott, T.G. 
Watson, et al. 1989. The effect of integrated 
grazing of goats, sheep and cattle on animal 
productivity and health on high-producing hill 
country pastures. Proc. N.Z. Soc. Anim. Prod. 
49:165-169. 

Boyer, D.G. 2005. Water quality improvement 
program effectiveness for carbonate aquifers in 
grazed land watersheds. /. Am. Water Res. Assoc. 
41:291-300. 

Boyer, D.G., and G.C. Pasquarell. 1996. 
Agricultural land use effects on nitrate 
concentrations in a mature karst aquifer. Water 
Resour. Bull. 32:565-573. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



Braccia, A., and J.R. Voshell, Jr. 2006. 

Environmental factors accounting for benthic 
macroinvertebrate assemblage structure at the 
sample scale in streams subjected to a gradient of 
cattle grazing. Hydrobiology 573:55-73. 

Bransby, D.I. 1991. Biological implications of 
rotational and continuous grazing: A case for 
continuous grazing, p. 10—14. In Proc. Am. 
Forage Grassl. Conf, Columbia, MO, 1-4 Apr. 
1991. Am. Forage Grassl. Counc, Georgetown, 
TX. 

Brelin, B. 1979. Mixed grazing with sheep and 
cattle compared with single grazing. Swed. J. 
Agric. Res. 9:113-120. 

Briske, D.D., J.D. Derner, J.R. Brown, S.D. 
Fuhlendorf, et al. 2008. Rotational grazing 
on rangelands: Reconciliation of perception and 
experimental evidence. Rangel. Ecol. Manage. 
61:3-17. 

Briske, D.D., J.D. Derner, D.G. Milchunas, 
and K.W. Tate. 201 1. An evidence-based 
assessment of prescribed grazing practices, p. 
23-74. In D.D. Briske (ed.) Conservation 
benefits of rangeland practices: Assessment, 
recommendations, and knowledge gaps. Allen 
Press, Lawrence, KS. 

Brown, M.A., and A.H. Brown, Jr. 2002. 
Relationship of milk yield and quality to 
preweaning gain of calves from Angus, Brahman 
and reciprocal-cross cows on different forage 
systems. /. Anim. Sci. 80:2522—2527. 

Brown, M.A., A.H. Brown, Jr., W.G. Jackson, 
and J.R. Miesner. 2001. Genotype x 
environment interactions in milk yield and 
quality in Angus, Brahman, and reciprocal-cross 
cows on different forage systems. /. Anim. Sci. 
79:1643-1649. 

Brown-Brandl, T.M., RA. Eigenberg, J.A. 
Nienaber, and G.L. Hahn. 2005. Dynamic 
response indicators of heat stress in shaded 
and non-shaded feedlot cattle. 1 . Analyses of 
indicators. Biosys. Eng. 90: 451-462. 

Bryan, W.B., and E.C. Prigge. 1994. Grazing 
initiation date and stocking rate effects on 
pasture productivity. Agron. J. 86:55-58. 

Bryant, H.T., R.E. Blaser, R.C. Hammes, Jr., 
and W.A. Hardison. 1961. Comparison of 
continuous and rotational grazing of three forage 
mixtures by dairy cows. /. Dairy Sci. 44:1742— 
1750. 

Burns, J.C., D.S. Chamblee, and EG. 

Giesbrecht. 2002. Defoliation intensity effect on 
season-long dry matter distribution and nutritive 
value of tall fescue. Crop Sci. 42:1274-1284. 



Burns, J. C, and D.S. Fisher. 2008. 'Coastal' and 
'Tifton 44' bermudagrass availability on animal 
and pasture productivity. Agron. J. 100: 1280- 
1288. 

Burns, J.C., D.S. Fisher, and G.E. 

Rottinghaus. 2006. Grazing influences 
on mass, nutritive value, and persistence of 
stockpiled Jesup tall fescue without and with 
novel and wild-type fungal endophytes. Crop Sci. 
46:1898-1912. 

Burton, G.A. Jr., D. Gunnison, and G.R. 
Lanza. 1987. Survival of pathogenic bacteria 
in various freshwater sediments. Appl. Environ. 
Microbiol. 53:633-638. 

Butler, D.M., N.N. Ranells, D.H. Franklin, 
M.H. Poore, etal. 2008. Runoff water 
quality from manured riparian grasslands with 
contrasting drainage and simulated grazing 
pressure. Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 126:250—260. 

Byers, H.L., M.L. Cabrera, M.K. Matthews, 
D.H. Franklin, etal. 2005. Phosphorus, 
sediment, and Escherichia coli loads in unfenced 
streams of the Georgia Piedmont, USA./. 
Environ. Qual. 34:2293-2300. 

Byers, R.A., and G.M. Barker. 2000. Soil 
dwelling macro-invertebrates in intensively 
grazed dairy pastures in Pennsylvania, New York 
and Vermont. Grass Forage Sci. 55:253-270. 

Byington, E.K. 1985. Opportunities to increase 
multispecies grazing in the eastern United States, 
p. 7-25. In EH. Baker and R.K. Jones (ed.) 
Multispecies grazing conference. Winrock Int. 
Inst. Agric. Develop., Morrilton, AR. 

Calladine, J., D. Baines, and P. Warren. 2002. 
Effects of reduced grazing on population density 
and breeding success of black grouse in northern 
England. /. Appl. Ecol. 39:772-780. 

Cantarutti, R., R. Tarre, R. Macedo, G. 
Cadisch, et al. 2002. The effect of grazing 
intensity and the presence of a forage legume 
on nitrogen dynamics in Brachiaria pastures in 
the Atlantic forest region of the south of Bahia, 
Brazil. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosys. 64:257 '—11 '1. 

Carlassare, M., and H.D. Karsten. 2002. 
Species contribution to seasonal productivity of 
a mixed pasture under two sward grazing height 
regimes. Agron. J. 94:840-850. 

Carline, R.E, and M.C. Walsh. 2007. Responses 
to riparian restoration in the Spring Creek 
Watershed, central Pennsylvania. Restor. Ecol. 
15:731-742. 

Carroll, L.C., T.W Arnold, and JA. Beam. 2007. 
Effects of rotational grazing on nesting ducks in 
California./. Wildl. Manage. 71:902-905. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Carton, O.T., A.J. Brereton, W.F. O'Keeffe, 
and G.P. Keane. 1989a. Effect of turnout date 
and grazing severity in a rotationally grazed 
reproductive sward. I. Dry matter. Irish J. Agric. 
Res. 28:153-163. 

Carton, O.T., A.J. Brereton, W.F. O'Keeffe, 
and G.P. Keane. 1989b. Effect of turnout date 
and grazing severity in a rotationally grazed 
reproductive sward. II. Tissue turnover. Irish J. 
Agric. Res. 28:165-175. 

CAST. 2002. Environmental impacts of livestock 
on U.S. grazing lands. Issue Paper 22. Counc. 
Agric. Sci. Technol., Ames, Iowa. 

Causarano, H.J., A.J. Franzluebbers, J.N. 
Shaw, D.W. Reeves, et al. 2008. Soil organic 
carbon fractions and aggregation in the Southern 
Piedmont and Coastal Plain. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 
72:221-230. 

Chacon, E., and T.H. Stobbs. 1976. Influence 
of progressive defoliation of a grass sward on 
the eating behaviour of cattle. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 
27:709-727. 

Chaparro, C.J., L.E. Sollenberger, and S.B. 
Linda. 1991. Grazing management effects 
on aeschynomene seed production. Crop Sci. 
31:197-201. 

Chapman, D.F., M.R. McCaskill, RE. Quigley, 
A.N. Thompson, et al. 2003. Effects of grazing 
method and fertiliser inputs on the productivity 
and sustainability of phalaris-based pastures in 
Western Victoria. Aust. J. Exper. Agric. 43:785- 
798. 

Chapman, E.W, and C.A. Ribic. 2002. The 
impact of buffer strips and stream-side grazing 
on small mammals in southwestern Wisconsin. 
Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 88:49—59. 

Chestnut, A.B., HA. Fribourg, D.O. Onks, 
J.B. McLaren, et al. 1992. Performance of 
cows and calves with continuous or rotational 
stocking of endophyte-infested tall fescue-clover 
pastures./. Prod. Agric. 5:405-408. 

Christiansen, S., and T. Svejcar 1988. Grazing 
effects on shoot and root dynamics and above- 
and below-ground non-structural carbohydrate 
in Caucasian bluestem. Grass Forage Sci. 43:1 1 1- 
119. 

Clark, E.A. 1998. Landscape variable affecting 
livestock impacts on water quality in the humid 
temperate zone. Can. J. Plant Sci. 78:181-190. 

Clark, J.T., J.R. Russell, D.L. Karlen, PL. 
Singleton, et al. 2004. Soil surface property 
and soybean yield response to corn stover 
grazing. Agron. J. 96:1364-1371. 

Coffey, K.P., J.L. Moyer, F.K Brazle, and L.W 



Lomas. 1992. Amount and diurnal distribution 
of grazing time by stocker cattle under different 
tall fescue management strategies. Appl. Anim. 
Behav. Sci. 33:121-135. 

Coleman, S.W, D.C. Meyerhoeffer, and F.R 
Horn. 1984. Semen characteristics and behavior 
of grazing bulls as influenced by shade. /. Range 
Manage. 37: 243-247. 

Collins, M., and J.A. Balasko. 1981a. Effects 
of N fertilization and cutting schedules on 
stockpiled tall fescue. I. Forage yield. Agron. J. 
73:803-807. 

Collins, M., and J.A. Balasko. 1981b. Effects 
of N fertilization and cutting schedules on 
stockpiled tall fescue. II. Forage quality. Agron. J. 
73:821-826. 

Conant, R.T., and K. Paustian. 2002. Potential 
soil carbon sequestration in overgrazed grassland 
ecosystems. Global Biogeochem. Cycles 16:1143 
doi:10.1029/2001GB001661. 

Connell, J.H. 1978. Diversity in tropical rain 
forests and coral reefs. Science 199:1302-1310. 

Conrad, B.E., E.C. Holt, and WC. Ellis. 1981. 
Steer performance on Coastal, Callie and other 
hybrid bermudagrasses. /. Anim. Sci. 53:1188- 
1192. 

Conway, A. 1968. Grazing management in 

relation to beef production. 4. Effect of seasonal 
variation in the stocking rate of beef cattle on 
animal production and on sward composition. 
Irish J. Agric. Res. 7:93-104. 

Crawford, J.A., RA. Olson, N.E. West, J.C. 
Mosley, et al. 2004. Ecology and management 
of sage-grouse and sage-grouse habitat. /. Range 
Manage. 57:2-19. 

Culvenor, RA. 1994. The persistence of five 
cultivars of phalaris after cutting during 
reproductive development in spring. Aust. J. 
Agric. Res. 45:945-962. 

Cuomo, G.J., M.V. Rudstrom, PR. Peterson, 
D.G. Johnson, et al. 2005. Initiation date and 
nitrogen rate for stockpiling smooth bromegrass 
in the north-central USA. Agron. J. 97:1 194— 
1201. 

Curtis, L.E., and R.L. Kallenbach. 2007. 
Endophyte infection level of tall fescue 
stockpiled for winter grazing does not alter the 
gain of calves nursing lactating beef cows. /. 
Anim. Sci. 85:2346-2353. 

Cuttle, S.P., and PC. Bourne. 1993. Uptake 
and leaching of nitrogen from artificial urine 
applied to grassland on different dates during the 
growing season. Plant Soil 150:77-86. 

Davis, C.E., V.D. Jolley, G.D. Mooso, L.R. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



Robison, et al. 1987. Quality of stockpiled 
bigalta limpograss forage at varying fertility 
levels. Agron. J. 79:229-235. 

Davis, R.R., and A.D. Pratt. 1956. Rotational vs. 
continuous grazing with dairy cows. Ohio Agric. 
Exp. Stn. Res. Bull. 778. Wooster, OH. 

Decau, M.L., J.C. Simon, and A. Jacquet. 2003. 
Fate of urine nitrogen in three soils throughout a 
grazing season. /. Environ. Qual. 32:1405—1413. 

del Pozo, M., K. Osoro, AND R. Celaya. 1998. 
Effects of complementary grazing by goats on 
sward composition and on sheep performance 
managed during lactation in perennial ryegrass 
and white clover pastures. Small Ruminant Res. 
29:173-184. 

del Pozo, M, LA. Wright, and T.K. Whyte. 
1997. Diet selection by sheep and goats and 
sward composition changes in a ryegrass/white 
clover sward previously grazed by cattle, sheep or 
goats. Grass Forage Sci. 52:278-290. 

Dennis, P., J. Skartveit, D.I. McCracken, R.J. 
Pakeman, et al. 2008. The effects of livestock 
grazing on foliar arthropods associated with bird 
diet in upland grasslands of Scotland. /. Appl. 
Ecol. 45:279-287. 

Derner, J.D., T.W. Boutton, AND D.D. Briske. 
2006. Grazing and ecosystem carbon storage 
in the North American Great Plains. Plant Soil 
280:77-90. 

Derner, J.D., W.K. Lauenroth, P. Stapp, and 
D.J. Augustine. 2009. Livestock as ecosystem 
engineers for grassland bird habitat in the 
western Great Plains of North America. Rangel. 
Ecol. Manage. 62:111-118. 

Di, H.J., and K.C. Cameron. 2002. Nitrate 
leaching in temperate agroecosystems: sources, 
factors and mitigating strategies. Nutr. Cycling 
Agroecosys. 64:237—256. 

Dickson, LA., J. Frame, and D.P. Arnot. 1981. 
Mixed grazing of cattle and sheep versus cattle 
only in an intensive grassland system. Anim. 
Prod. 33:265-272. 

Dierking, R.M., R.L. Kallenbach, M.S. Kerley, 
CA. Roberts, et al. 2008. Yield and nutritive 
value of "Spring Green" festulolium and "Jesup" 
endophyte-free tall fescue stockpiled for winter 
pasture. Crop Sci. 48:2463-2469. 

do Canto, M.W., C.C. Jobim, E. Gasparino, 
and A.R. Hoeschl. 2008. Sward characteristics 
and herbage accumulation of Tanzania grass 
submitted to sward heights. Pesq. Agropec. Bras. 
43:429-435. 

Donaldson, C.H. 1979. Goats and/or cattle on 
mopani veld. Afr. J. Range Forage Sci. 14:119-123. 



Donnison, A., C. Ross, and B. Thorrold. 

2004. Impact of land use on the faecal microbial 
quality of hill-country streams. N.Z. J. Marine 
Freshwater Res. 38:845-855. 

Doran, J.W., and D.M. Linn. 1979. 

Bacteriological quality of runoff water from 
pastureland. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 37:985- 
991. 

Drapeau, R., G. Belanger, G.F. Tremblay, and 
R. Michaud. 2007. Yield, persistence, and 
nutritive value of autumn-harvested tall fescue. 
Can. J. Plant Sci. 87:67-75. 

Drewnoski, M.E., E.J. Oliphant, B.T. 
Marshall, M.H. Poore, et al. 2009. 
Performance of growing cattle grazing stockpiled 
Jesup tall fescue with varying endophyte status. 
J. Anim. Sci. 87:1034-1041. 

Dubeux, J.C.B., Jr, L.E. Sollenberger, LA. 
Gaston, J.M.B. Vendramini, et al. 2009. 
Animal behavior and soil nutrient redistribution 
in continuously stocked Pensacola bahiagrass 
pastures managed at different intensities. Crop 
Sci. 49:1503-1510 

Dubeux, J.C.B., Jr, R.L. Stewart, Jr., L.E. 
Sollenberger, J.M.B. Vendramini, et al. 
2006. Spatial heterogeneity of herbage response 
to management intensity in continuously 
stocked Pensacola bahiagrass pastures. Agron. J. 
98:1453-1459. 

Durant, D., M. Tichit, E. Kerneis, and H. 
Fritz. 2008. Management of agricultural wet 
grasslands for breeding waders: integrating 
ecological and livestock system perspectives-A 
review. Biodivers. Conserv. 17:2275-2295. 

Durham, R.S., and A.D. Afton. 2003. Nest- 
site selection and success of mottled ducks on 
agricultural lands in southwest Louisiana. Wildl. 
Soc. Bull. 31:433-442. 

Earl, J.M., and C.E. Jones. 1996. The need for 
a new approach to grazing management: Is cell 
grazing the answer? Rangel. J. 18:327-350. 

Eigenberg, R.A., T.M. Brown-Brandl, J.A. 
Nienaber, and G.L. Hahn. 2005. Dynamic 
response indicators of heat stress in shaded 
and non-shaded feedlot cattle. 2. Predictive 
relationships. Biosys. Eng. 91:111-118. 

Emery, R.B., D.W. Howerter, L.M. Armstrong, 
M.G. Anderson, et al. 2005. Seasonal 
variation in waterfowl nesting success and its 
relation to cover management in the Canadian 
prairies./. Wildl. Manage. 69:1181-1193. 

EPA. 2009. National water quality inventory: 
Report to Congress, 2004 reporting cycle. EPA 
841-R-08-001. USEPA, Washington, DC. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Evans, D.M., S.M. Redpath, D.A. Elston, S.A. 
Evans, et al. 2006a. To graze or not to graze? 
Sheep, voles, forestry and nature conservation in 
the British uplands./. Appl. Ecol. 43:499-505. 

Evans, D.M., S.M. Redpath, S.A. Evans, D.A. 
Elston, et al. 2005. Livestock grazing affects 
the egg size of an insectivorous passerine. Biol. 
Lett. 1:322-325. 

Evans, D.M., S.M. Redpath, S.A. Evans, 
D.A. Elston, et al. 2006b. Low intensity, 
mixed livestock grazing improves the breeding 
abundance of a common insectivorous passerine. 
Biol. Lett. 2:636-638. 

Evans, R. 1998. The erosional impacts of grazing 
animals. Prog. Phys. Geog. 22:251—268. 

Evers, G.W., L.A. Redmon, and T.L. Provin. 
2004. Comparison of bermudagrass, bahiagrass, 
and kikuyugrass as a standing hay crop. Crop Sci. 
44:1370-1378. 

Fales, ST., L.D. Muller, S.A. Ford, M. 

O'Sullivan, et al. 1995. Stocking rate affects 
production and profitability in a rotationally 
grazed pasture system. /. Prod. Agric. 8:88-96. 

Fike, J.H., C.R. Staples, L.E. Sollenberger, 
B. Macoon, et al. 2003. Pasture forages, 
supplementation rate, and stocking rate 
effects on dairy cow performance. J. Dairy Sci. 
86:1268-1281. 

Fisher, D.S, J.C. Burns, K.R. Pond, R.D. 
Mochrie, et al. 1991. Effects of grass species 
on grazing steers: 1 . Diet composition and 
ingestive mastication./. Anim. Sci. 69:1188— 
1198. 

Fitch, L., and B.W. Adams. 1998. Can cows and 
fish co-exist? Can. J. Plant Sci. 78:191-198. 

Flores, R., W.K. Coblentz, R.K. Ogden, K.P. 
Coffey, et al. 2007. Effects of fescue type and 
sampling date on the ruminal disappearance 
kinetics of autumn-stockpiled tall fescue./ 
Dairy Sci. 90:2883-2896. 

Fondell, T.F., and I.J. Ball. 2004. Density 
and success of bird nests relative to grazing 
on western Montana grasslands. Biol. Conserv. 
117:203-213. 

Fontaneli, R.S., L.E. Sollenberger, and C.R. 
Staples. 2000. Seeding date effects on yield 
and nutritive value of cool-season annual 
forage mixtures. Soil Crop Sci. Soc. Fla. Proc. 
59:60-67. 

Franklin, D.H., Ml. Cabrera, H.L. Byers, 
M.K. Matthews, et al. 2009. Impact of water 
troughs on cattle use of riparian zones in the 
Georgia Piedmont in the United States. /. Anim. 
Sci. 87:2151-2159. 



Franzluebbers, A.J. 2005. Soil organic carbon 
sequestration and agricultural greenhouse gas 
emissions in the southeastern USA. Soil Tillage 
Res. 83:120-147. 

Franzluebbers, A.J. 2008. Linking soil and water 
quality in conservation agricultural systems. /. 
Lntegr. Biosci. 6:15—29. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., N. Nazih, J.A. 

Stuedemann, J.J. Fuhrmann, et al. 1999. Soil 
carbon and nitrogen pools under low- and high- 
endophyte-infected tall fescue. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. 
J. 63:1687-1694. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., D.H. Seman, and J.A. 
Stuedemann. 2009. Tall fescue persists and 
cattle perform well on a novel-endophyte 
association in the Southern Piedmont USA. 
Online. Forage Grazingl. doi:10.1094/FG-2009- 
0227-0 1-RS. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., and J.A. Stuedemann. 

2001. Bermudagrass management in the 
Southern Piedmont U.S. IV. Soil-surface 
nitrogen pools. Sci. World 1(S2) : 673-681. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., and J.A. Stuedemann. 

2002. Particulate and non-particulate fractions 
of soil organic carbon under pastures in the 
Southern Piedmont USA. Environ. Pollut. 
116:S53-S62. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., and J.A. Stuedemann. 
2003a. Bermudagrass management in the 
Southern Piedmont USA. III. Particulate and 
biologically active soil carbon. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. 
J. 67:132-138. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., and J.A. Stuedemann. 
2003b. Bermudagrass management in the 
Southern Piedmont USA. VI. Soil-profile 
inorganic nitrogen./. Environ. Qual. 32:1316— 
1322. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., and J.A. Stuedemann. 
2005. Bermudagrass management in the 
Southern Piedmont USA. VII. Soil-profile 
organic carbon and total nitrogen. Soil Sci. Soc. 
Am. J. 69:1455-1462. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., and J.A. Stuedemann. 
2008a. Early response of soil organic fractions to 
tillage and integrated crop-livestock production. 
Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 72:613-625. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., and J.A. Stuedemann. 
2008b. Soil physical responses to cattle grazing 
cover crops under conventional and no tillage 
in the Southern Piedmont USA. Soil Tillage Res. 
100:141-153. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., and J.A. Stuedemann. 
2009. Soil-profile organic carbon and total 
nitrogen during 12 years of pasture management 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



in the Southern Piedmont USA. Agric. Ecosys. 
Environ. 129:28-36. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., and J.A. Stuedemann. 
2010. Surface soil changes during twelve years of 
pasture management in the Southern Piedmont 
USA. Soil Set. Soc. Am. J. 74:2131-2141. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., J.A. Stuedemann, and 
H.H. Schomberg. 2000a. Spatial distribution of 
soil carbon and nitrogen pools under grazed tall 
fescue. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 64:635-639. 

Franzluebbers, A.J. , J.A. Stuedemann, H.H. 
Schomberg, and S.R. Wilkinson. 2000b. Soil 
organic C and N pools under long-term pasture 
management in the Southern Piedmont USA. 
Soil Biol. Biochem. 32:469-478. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., J.A. Stuedemann, and S.R. 
Wilkinson. 2001. Bermudagrass management 
in the Southern Piedmont USA: I. Soil and 
surface residue carbon and sulfur. Soil Sci. Soc. 
Am. J. 65:834-841. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., J.A. Stuedemann, and S.R. 
Wilkinson. 2002. Bermudagrass management 
in the Southern Piedmont USA. II. Soil 
phosphorus. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 66:291—298. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., S.R. Wilkinson, and 
J.A. Stuedemann. 2004a. Bermudagrass 
management in the Southern Piedmont USA: 

VIII. Soil pH and nutrient cations. Agron. J. 
96:1390-1399. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., S.R. Wilkinson, and 
J.A. Stuedemann. 2004b. Bermudagrass 
management in the Southern Piedmont, USA: 

IX. Trace elements in soil with broiler litter 
application./. Environ. Qual. 33:778-784. 

Franzluebbers, A.J., S.F. Wright, and J.A. 
Stuedemann. 2000b. Soil aggregation and 
glomalin under pastures in the Southern 
Piedmont USA. Soil Sci. Soc. Am.]. 64:1018- 
1026. 

Frisina, M.R., and J.M. Mariani. 1995. 

Wildlife and livestock as elements of grassland 
ecosystems. Rangelands 17:23-25. 

Fuller, R.J., and S.J. Gough. 1999. Changes in 
sheep numbers in Britain: Implications for bird 
populations. Biol. Conserv. 91:73-89. 

Galeone, D.G. 2000. Preliminary effects of 
streambank fencing of pasture land on the 
quality of surface water in a small watershed 
in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Water Res. 
Investig. Rep. 00-4205. USDI, USGS, Lemoyne, 
PA. 

George, J.R., R.L. Hintz, K.J. Moore, S.K. 
Barnhart, et al. 1996. Steer response to 
rotational or continuous grazing on switchgrass 



and big bluestem pastures, p. 150-153. In Proc. 
Am. Forage Grassl. Conf, Vancouver, BC, 
Canada, 13-15 June 1996. Am. Forage Grassl. 
Counc, Georgetown, TX. 

Gerrish, J. 2000. Impact of stocking rate and 
grazing management system on profit and 
pasture condition. Available at http://aes. 
missouri.edu/fsrc/research/report/index.stm 
(verified 14 Feb. 2011). 

Gerrish, J.R., PR. Peterson, C.A. Roberts, 
and J.R. Brown. 1994. Nitrogen fertilization of 
stockpiled tall fescue in the Midwestern USA. /. 
Prod. Agric. 7:98-104. 

Gibson, D., J.J. Casal, and V.A. Deregibus. 
1992. The effect of plant density on shoot and 
leaf lamina angles in Lolium multiflorum and 
Paspalum dilatatum. Ann. Bot. 70:69—73. 

Giddens, J., and A. P. Barnett. 1980. Soil loss 
and microbiological quality of runoff from land 
treated with poultry litter. / Environ. Qual. 
9:518-520. 

GlFFORD, G.F., AND R.H. Hawkins. 1978. 

Hydrologic impact of grazing on infiltration: A 
critical review. Water Resour. Res. 14:305—313. 

Giuliano, W.M., and S.E. Daves. 2002. Avian 
response to warm-season grass use in pasture and 
hayfield management. Biol. Conserv. 106:1—9. 

Giuliano, W.M., and J.D. Homyack. 2004. 
Short-term grazing exclusion effects on riparian 
small mammal communities. /. Range Manage. 
57:346-350. 

Glimp, H.A., and S.R. Swanson. 1994. Sheep 
grazing and riparian and watershed management. 
Sheep Res. J. 9:65-71. 

Greenwood, K.L., and B.M. McKenzie. 2001. 
Grazing effects on soil physical properties and 
the consequences for pastures: A review. Aust. J. 
Exp. Agric. 41:1231-1250. 

Guerrero, J.N., B.E. Conrad, E.C. Holt, and 
H. Wu. 1984. Prediction of animal performance 
on bermudagrass pasture from available forage. 
Agron. J. 76:577-580. 

Guretzky, J.A., J. Ball, and B.J. Cook. 2008. 
Nitrogen fertilizer rate and weather dictate 
nutritive value of fall stockpiled bermudagrass. 
Online Forage Grazingl. doi:10.1094/FG-2008- 
0118-01-RS. 

Guretzky, J.A., K.J. Moore, E.C. Brummer, 
and C.L. Burras. 2005. Species diversity and 
functional composition of pastures that vary in 
landscape position and grazing management. 
Crop Sci. 45:282-289. 

Guretzky, J.A., K.J. Moore, C. L. Burras, and 
E.C. Brummer. 2004. Distribution of legumes 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



along gradients of slope and soil electrical 
conductivity in pastures. Agron. J. 96:547-555. 

Guretzky, J.A., K.J. Moore, C. L. Burras, and 
E.C. Brummer 2007. Plant species richness in 
relation to pasture position, management, and 
scale. Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 122:387—391. 

Haan, M.M., J.R. Russell, W.J. Powers, J.L. 
Kovar, and J.L. Benning. 2006. Grazing 
management effects on sediment and 
phosphorus in surface runoff. Rangel. Ecol. 
Manage. 59:607-615. 

Hacker, R.B., B.E. Norton, M.K. Owens, and 
D.O. Frye. 1988. Grazing of crested wheatgrass, 
with particular reference to effects of pasture 
size./. Range Manage. 41:73-78. 

Hafley, J.L. 1996. Comparison of marshall and 
surrey ryegrass for continuous and rotational 
grazing./. Anim. Set. 74:2269-2275. 

Hall, M.H., P.J. Levan, E.H. Cash, H.W. 
Harpster, etal. 1998. Fall-grazing 
management effects on production and 
persistence of tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, and 
prairie grass. / Prod. Agric. 1 1 :487-49 1 . 

Hamilton, D., I.D. Ada, and J.J.L. Maden. 
1976. Liveweight changes of steers, ewes and 
lambs in relation to height of green annual 
pasture. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. Anim. Husb. 16:800— 
807. 

Hammond, A.C., M.J. Williams, T.A. Olson, 
L.C. Gasbarre, et al. 1997. Effect of rotational 
vs. continuous intensive stocking of bahiagrass 
on performance of Angus cows and calves and 
interaction with sire type on gastrointestinal 
nematode burden./ Anim. Sci. 75:2291-2299. 

Hardin, G. 1960. The competitive exclusion 
principle. Science 131:1292-1297. 

Harmoney, K.R., K.J. Moore, E.C. Brummer, 
C.L. Burras, et al. 2001. Spatial legume 
composition and diversity across seeded 
landscapes. Agron. J. 93:992-1000. 

Harris, S.L., CD. Waugh, R.J. McCabe, and 
V.T. van Vught. 1999. Effect of deferred 
grazing during summer on white clover content 
of Waikato dairy pastures. N.Z. J. Agric. Res. 
42:1-7. 

Hart, R.H. 1978. Stocking rate theory and its 
application to grazing on rangelands. p. 547— 
550. In D.N. Hyder (ed.) Proc. Int. Rangel. 
Congr., 1st, Denver, CO. 14-18 Aug. 1978. 
Soc. Range Manage., Denver, CO. 

Hart, R.H. 1993. Viewpoint: "Invisible colleges" 
and citation clusters in stocking rate research. / 
Range Manage. 46:378-382. 

Hart, R.H., J. Bissio, M.J. Samuel, and J.W 



Waggoner, Jr 1993. Grazing systems, pasture 
size, and cattle grazing behavior, distribution and 
gains./ Range Manage. 46:81-87. 

Hart, R.H., WH. Marchant, J.L. Butler, R.E. 
Hellwig, et al. 1976. Steer gains under six 
systems of coastal bermudagrass utilization./ 
Range Manage. 29:372-375. 

Haynes, R.J., and PH. Williams. 1993. Nutrient 
cycling and soil fertility in the grazed pasture 
ecosystem. Adv. Agron. 46:1 19—199. 

Heady, H., and R.D. Child. 1999. Rangeland 
ecology and management. Westview Press, 
Boulder, CO. 

Heitschmidt, R.K. 1988. Intensive grazing in arid 
regions, p. 340-353. In Proc. Am. Forage Grassl. 
Conf, Lexington, KY. Am. Forage Grassl. 
Counc, Georgetown, TX. 

Hennessy, D., M. O'Donovan, P. French, and 
A.S. Laidlaw. 2006. Effects of date of autumn 
closing and timing of winter grazing on herbage 
production in winter and spring. Grass Forage 
Sci. 61:363-374. 

Hernandez, M., P.J. Argel, M.A. Ibrahim, and 
L. 't Mannetje. 1995. Pasture production, diet 
selection and liveweight gains of cattle grazing 
Brachiaria brizantha with or without Arachis 
pintoi at two stocking rates in the Atlantic zone 
of Costa Rica. Trop. Grassl. 29:134-141. 

Hernandez Garay, A., L.E. Sollenberger, D.C. 
McDonald, G.J. Ruegsegger, et al. 2004a. 
Nitrogen fertilization and stocking rate affect 
stargrass pasture and cattle performance. Crop 
Sci. 44:1348-1354. 

Hernandez Garay, A., L.E. Sollenberger, 
C.R. Staples, and C.G.S. Pedreira. 2004b. 
'Florigraze' and Arbrook' rhizoma peanut as 
pasture for growing Holstein heifers. Crop Sci. 
44:1355-1360. 

Hershfield, D.M. 1961. Rainfall frequency 
atlas of the United States for durations from 30 
minutes to 24 hours and return periods from 1 
to 100 years. Tech. Paper No. 40. U.S. Weather 
Bureau, Washington, DC. 

Hitz, A.C., and J.R. Russell. 1998. Potential of 
stockpiled perennial forages in winter grazing 
systems for pregnant beef cows. / Anim. Sci. 
76:404-415. 

Hodgkinson, KG, M.M. Ludlow, J.J. Mott, 
and Z. Baruch. 1989. Comparative responses 
of the savanna grasses Cenchrus ciliaris and 
Themeda triandra to defoliation. Oecologia 
(Berlin) 79:45-52. 

Hodgson, J. 1990. Grazing management — 
Science into practice. John Wiley, New York. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



Hofmann, L., and R.E. Ries. 1991. Relationship 
of soil and plant characteristics to erosion 
and runoff on pasture and range. /. Soil Water 
Conserv. 46:143-147. 

Hofmann, R.R. 1989. Evolutionary steps of 
ecophysiological adaptation and diversification 
of ruminants: A comparative view of their 
digestive system. Oecologia (Berlin) 78:443- 
457. 

HOLDERBAUM, J.F., L.E. SOLLENBERGER, K.H. 
QUESENBERRY, J.E. MOORE, ET AL. 1992. 

Canopy structure and nutritive value of 
limpograss pastures during mid-summer to early 
autumn. Agron. J. 84:11-16. 

Holmes, W., R. Waite, D.L. Fergusson, and 
D.S. MacLusky. 1952. Studies in grazing 
management. 4. A comparison of close- 
folding and rotational grazing of dairy cows 
on intensively fertilized pasture. /. Agric. Sci. 
42:304-313. 

Holst, P.J., C.J. Allan, M.H. Campbell, and 
A.R. Gilmour 2004. Grazing of pasture weeds 
by goats and sheep. 1. Nodding thistle (Carduus 
nutans). Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 44:547-551. 

Holt, E.C., and B.E. Conrad. 1986. Influence of 
harvest frequency and season on bermudagrass 
cultivar yield and forage quality. Agron. J. 
78:433-436. 

HOMYACK, J.D., AND W.M. GlULIANO. 2002. 

Effect of streambank fencing on herpeto fauna in 
pasture stream zones. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 30:361- 
369. 

Hoveland, C.S., MA. McCann, and N.S. Hill. 
1997. Rotational vs. continuous stocking of 
beef cows and calves on mixed endophyte-free 
tall fescue-bermudagrass pasture. /. Prod. Agric. 
10:245-250. 

Howell, J.M., M.S. Coyne, and P. Cornelius. 
1995. Fecal bacteria in agricultural waters of the 
Bluegrass region of Kentucky. /, Environ. Qual. 
24:411-419. 

Huber, H., S. Lukacs, and MA. Watson. 1999. 
Spatial structure of stoloniferous herbs: An interplay 
between structural blueprint, ontogeny and 
phenotypic plasticity. Plant Ecol 141:1 07-1 1 5 . 

Hull, J.L., J.H. Meyer, S.E. Bonilla, and 
W. Weitkamp. 1965. Further studies on the 
influence of stocking rate on animal and forage 
production from irrigated pasture. /. Anim. Sci. 
24:697-704. 

Hull, J.L., J.H. Meyer, and R. Kromann. 1961. 
Influence of stocking rate on animal and forage 
production from irrigated pasture. /. Anim. Sci. 
20:46-52. 



Hull, J.L., J.H. Meyer, and C.A. Raguse. 1967. 
Rotation and continuous grazing on irrigated 
pasture using beef steers./. Anim. Sci. 26:1160- 
1164. 

Humphrey, J.W., and G.S. Patterson. 2000. 
Effects of late summer cattle grazing on the 
diversity of riparian pasture vegetation in an 
upland conifer forest. /. Appl. Ecol. 37:986-996. 

Humphreys, L.R. 1991. Tropical pasture 

utilization. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 
UK. 

Hunt, L.R, S. Petty, R. Cowley, A. Fisher, et 
al. 2007. Factors affecting the management 
of cattle grazing distribution in northern 
Australia: Preliminary observations on the effect 
of paddock size and water points. Rangel. J. 
29:169-179. 

Hunter, C, J. Perkins, J. Tranter, and J. 

Gunn. 1999. Agricultural land-use effects on the 
indicator bacterial quality of an upland stream in 
the Derbyshire Peak District in the U.K. Water 
Res. 33:3577-3586. 

Ignatiuk, J.B., and D.C. Duncan. 2001. Nest 
success of ducks on rotational and season-long 
grazing systems in Saskatchewan. Wildl. Soc. 
Bull. 29:211-217. 

Inyang, U, J.M.B. Vendramini, L.E. 

SOLLENBERGER, B. SELLERS, ET AL. 2010. Effects 

of stocking rate on animal performance and 
herbage responses of Mulato and bahiagrass 
pastures. Crop Sci. 50:1079-1085. 

Ittner, N.R., C.F. Kelly, and H.R. Guilbert. 
1951. Water consumption of Hereford and 
Brahman cattle and the effect of cooled drinking 
water in a hot climate. /. Anim. Sci. 10:742— 
751. 

Ivey, G.L., and B.D. Dugger 2008. Factors 
influencing nest success of Greater Sandhill 
Cranes at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, 
Oregon. Waterbirds 31:52— 61. 

James, E., P. Kleinman, T Veith, R. Stedman, 
and A. Sharpley. 2007. Phosphorus 
contributions from pastured dairy cattle to 
streams of the Cannonsville Watershed, New 
York./. Soil Water Conserv. 62:40-47. 

Jangid, K., M.A. Williams, A.J. Franzluebbers, 
J.S. Sanderlin, et al. 2008. Relative impacts of 
land-use, management intensity and fertilization 
upon soil microbial community structure 
in agricultural systems. Soil Biol. Biochem. 
40:2843-2853. 

Johnson, J.M.F., D.C. Reicosky, R.R. Allmaras, 
T.J. Sauer, et al. 2005. Greenhouse gas 
contributions and mitigation potential of 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



agriculture in the central USA. Soil Tillage Res. 
83:73-94. 

Johnston, A.N., and R.G. Anthony. 2008. 
Small-mammal microhabitat associations and 
response to grazing in Oregon. /. Wildl. Manage. 
72:1736-1746. 

Jones, R.J., and R.M. Jones. 1997. Grazing 
management in the tropics, p. 535-542. In 
Proc. Int. Grassl. Congr., 18th, Winnipeg and 
Saskatoon, Canada. 8-17 June 1997. Grasslands 
2000, Toronto, Cnada. 

Jones, R.J., and R.P. LeFeuvre. 2006. Pasture 
production, pasture quality and their 
relationships with steer gains on irrigated, 
N-fertilised pangola grass at a range of stocking 
rates in the Ord Valley, Western Australia. Trop. 
Grassl. 40:1-13. 

Jones, R.M. 1979. Effect of stocking rate and 
grazing frequency on a Siratro (Macroptilium 
atropurpureum) I Setaria anceps cv. Nandi pasture. 
Aust.J. Exp. Agric. Anim. Husb. 19: 318-324. 

Jordan, H.E., WA. Phillips, R.D. Morrison, 
J.J. Doyle, et al. 1988. A 3-year study of 
continuous mixed grazing of cattle and sheep: 
Parasitism of offspring. Int./. Parasitol. 18:779- 
784. 

Jung, G.A., JA. Shaffer, and J.R. Everhart. 
1994. Fall management effects on 'Grasslands 
Matua' prairie grass production and sward 
characteristics. Agron. J. 86:1032-1039. 

Jung, H.G., R.W Rice, and L.J. Koong. 1985. 
Comparison of heifer weight gains and forage 
quality for continuous and short-duration 
grazing systems. /. Range Manage. 38:144—148. 

JURACEK, K.E., AND FA. FlTZPATRICK. 2003. 

Limitations and implications of stream 

classification. /. Am. Water Resour. Assoc. 39:659— 

670. 
Kallenbach, R.L., G.J. Bishop-Hurley, 

M.D. Massie, M.S. Kerley, etal. 2003a. 

Stockpiled annual ryegrass for winter forage 

in the lower Midwestern USA. Crop Sci. 

43:1414-1419. 
Kallenbach, R.L., G.J. Bishop-Hurley, M.D. 

Massie, G.E. Rottinghaus, et al. 2003b. 

Herbage mass, nutritive value, and ergovaline 

concentration of stockpiled tall fescue. Crop Sci. 

43:1001-1005. 
Karmiris, I.E., and A.S. Nastis. 2007. Intensity 

of livestock grazing in relation to habitat use by 

brown hares (Lepus europaeus). J. Zool. 271:193- 

197. 
Karsten, H.D., and G.W Fick. 1999. White 

clover growth patterns during the grazing season 



in a rotationally grazed dairy pasture in New 
York. Grass Forage Sci. 54:174-183. 

Katepa-Mupondwa, F, A. Singh, S.R. Smith, Jr., 
and WP McCaughey. 2002. Grazing tolerance 
of alfalfa (Medicago spp.) under continuous and 
rotational stocking systems in pure stands and 
in mixture with meadow bromegrass {Bromus 
riparius Rehm. Syn. B. Biebersteinii Roem & 
Schult). Can.]. Plant Sci. 82:337-347. 

Kauffman, J.B., and WC. Krueger. 1984. 
Livestock impacts on riparian ecosystems and 
streamside management implications: A review. 
/. Rangel. Manage. 37:430-438. 

Kelly, KB. 1985. Effects of soil modification 
and treading on pasture growth and physical 
properties of an irrigated red-brown earth. Aust. 
J. Agric. Res. 36:799-807. 

Kemp, R., A.J.H. Leatherbarrow, N.J. Williams, 
CA. Hart, et al. 2005. Prevalence and genetic 
diversity of Campylobacter spp. in environmental 
water samples from a 100-square-kilometer 
predominantly dairy farming area. Appl. Environ. 
Microbiol. 71:1876-1882. 

Kendall, RE., GA. Verkerk, J.R. Webster, 
and C.B. Tucker. 2007. Sprinklers and shade 
cool cows and reduce insect- avoidance behavior 
in pasture-based dairy systems. /. Dairy Sci. 
90:3671-3680. 

Kinyua, ELD., and J.T Njoka. 2001. Animal 
exchange ratios: An alternative point of view. Ajr. 
J. Ecol. 39:59-64. 

Koerth, B.H., WM. Webb, EC. Bryant, and 
FS. Guthery. 1983. Cattle trampling of 
simulated ground nests under short duration 
and continuous grazing. /. Range Manage. 
36:385-386. 

Kolodziej, E.P, AND D.L. Sedlak. 2007. 
Rangeland grazing as a source of steroid 
hormones to surface waters. Environ. Sci. 
Technol. 41:3514-3520. 

Krenzer, E.G., Jr., C.E Chee, and J.F 

Stone. 1989. Effects of animal traffic on soil 
compaction in wheat pastures. /. Prod. Agric. 
2:246-249. 

Kunelius, H.T., AND PR. Narasimhalu. 1993. 
Effect of autumn harvest date on herbage yield 
and composition of grasses and white clover. 
Field Crops Res. 31:341-349. 

Kuusela, E., and H. Khalili. 2002. Effect of 
grazing method and herbage allowance on the 
grazing efficiency of milk production in organic 
farming. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech. 98:87—101. 

Kuykendall, H.A., M.L. Cabrera, C.S. 
Hoveland, MA. McCann, etal. 1999a. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



Stocking method effects on nutrient runoff from 
pastures fertilized with broiler litter. /. Environ. 
Qual. 28:1886-1890. 

KUYKENDALL, H.A., C.S. HOVELAND, M.A. 

McCann, and M.L. Cabrera. 1999b. 
Continuous vs. rotational stocking of steers 
on mixed endophyte-infected tall fescue- 
bermudagrass pastures fertilized with broiler 
litter./. Prod. Agric. 12:472-478. 

Lalman, D.L., CM. Taliaferro, EM. Epplin, 
C.R. Johnson, et al. 2000. Review: Grazing 
stockpiled bermudagrass as an alternative to 
feeding harvested forage./. Anim Sci. 79:1-8. 

Lange, I.G., A. Daxenberger, B. Schiffer, H. 
Witters, et al. 2002. Sex hormones originating 
from different livestock production systems: 
Fate and potential disrupting activity in the 
environment. Anal. Chim. Acta 473:27—37. 

Lardner, H.A., B.D. Kirychuk, L. Braul, W.D. 
Willms, et al. 2005. The effect of water quality 
on cattle performance on pasture. Aust. J. Agric. 
Res. 56:97-104. 

Lauriault, L.M., R.E. Kirksey, G.B. Donart, 
J.E. Sawyer, et al. 2005. Pasture and stocker 
cattle performance on furrow-irrigated alfalfa 
and tall wheatgrass pastures, southern high 
plains, USA. Crop Sci. 45:305-315. 

Lehmkuhler, J.W., M.S. Kerley, H.E. Garrett, 
B.E. Cutter, et al. 1999. Comparison of 
continuous and rotational silvopastoral systems 
for established walnut plantations in southwest 
Missouri, USA. Agrofor. Syst. 44:267-279. 

Line, D.E., W.A. Harman, G.D. Jennings, E.J. 
Thompson, et al. 2000. Nonpoint-source 
pollutant load reductions associated with livestock 
exclusion./. Environ. Qual. 29:1882-1890. 

Lomas, L.W., J.L. Moyer, GA. Milliken, and 
K.E Coffey. 2000. Effects of grazing system 
on performance of cow-calf pairs grazing 
bermudagrass pastures interseeded with wheat 
and legumes. Prof. Anim. Scient. 16:169—174. 

Luginbuhl, J.-M., T.E. Harvey, J.T Green, 
Jr., M.H. Poore, et al. 1999. Use of goats as 
biological agents for the renovation of pastures 
in the Appalachian region of the United States. 
Agrofor. Syst. 44:241-252. 

Lyons, J., B. M. Weigel, L. K. Paine, and D. 
J. Undersander. 2000. Influence of intensive 
rotational grazing on bank erosion, fish habitat 
quality, and fish communities in southwestern 
Wisconsin trout streams. / Soil Water Conserv. 
55: 271-276. 

Macdonald, K.A., J.W Penno, J.A.S. Lancaster, 
and J.R.Roche. 2008. Effect of stocking rate 



on pasture production, milk production, and 
reproduction of dairy cows in pasture-based 
systems./. Dairy Sci. 91:2151-2163. 

MAGNER, J.A., B. VONDRACEK, AND K.N. BROOKS. 

2008. Grazed riparian management and stream 
channel response in southeastern Minnesota 
(USA) streams. Environ. Manage. 42:377-390. 

Marley, C.L., M.D. Fraser, DA. Davies, M.E. 
Rees, et al. 2006. The effect of mixed or 
sequential grazing of cattle and sheep on the 
faecal egg counts and growth rates of weaned 
lambs when treated with anthelmintics. Vet. 
Parasitol. 142:134-141. 

Marlow, C.B.,andTM. Pognacnik. 1986. 
Cattle feeding and resting patterns in a foothills 
riparian zone. / Range Manage. 39:212-217. 

Martin, T.G., and S. McIntyre. 2007. Impacts 
of livestock grazing and tree clearing on birds of 
woodland and riparian habitats. Conserv. Biol. 
21:504-514. 

Martin, T.G., and H.P. Possingham. 2005. 
Predicting the impact of livestock grazing on 
birds using foraging height data. / Appl. Ecol. 
42:400-408. 

Matches, A.G., and J.C. Burns. 1995. Systems of 
grazing management, p. 179—192. In R.F Barnes 
et al. (ed.) Forages: The science of grassland 
agriculture. 5th ed. Iowa State Univ. Press, 
Ames, IA. 

Mathews, B.W, L.E. Sollenberger, P. Nkedi- 
Kizza, LA. Gaston, et al. 1994a. Soil 
sampling procedures for monitoring potassium 
distribution in grazed pastures. Agron. J. 
86:121-126. 

Mathews, B.W, L.E. Sollenberger, and C.R. 
Staples. 1994b. Dairy heifer and bermudagrass 
pasture responses to rotational and continuous 
stocking./ Dairy Sci. 77:244-252. 

Mathews, B.W, L.E. Sollenberger, and J. P. 
Tritschler II. 1996. Grazing systems and 
spatial distribution of nutrients in pastures: 
Soil considerations, p. 213—229. In R.E. Joost 
and CA. Roberts (ed.) Nutrient cycling in 
forage systems. Potash and Phosphate Institute 
and Foundation for Agronomic Research, 
Manhattan, KS. 

Mathews, B.W, J. P. Tritschler, J.R. 

Carpenter, and L.E. Sollenberger. 1999. 
Soil macronutrient distribution in rotationally 
stocked kikuyugrass paddocks with short and 
long grazing periods. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant 
Anal. 30:557-571. 

Matthew, C, S.G. Assuero, C.K. Black, 
and N.R. Sackville Hamilton. 2000. Tiller 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



dynamics of grazed swards, p. 127-150. In G. 
Lemaire et al. (ed.) Grassland ecophysiology and 
grazing ecology. CABI Pub., New York. 

McCartor, M.M., and EM. Rouquette, Jr. 
1977. Grazing pressure and animal performance 
from pearl millet. Agron. J. 69:983-987. 

McCuen, R.H. 2005. Hydrologic analysis and 
design. 3rd ed. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle 
River, NJ. 

McDowell, R.W., J.J. Drewry, R.W. Muirhead, 
and R.J. Paton. 2005. Restricting the grazing 
time of cattle to decrease phosphorus, sediment, 
and E. coli losses in overland flow from cropland. 
Aust.J. Soil Res. 43:61-66. 

McInnis, M.L., and J. McIver 2001. Influence 
of off-stream supplements on streambanks of 
riparian pastures./. Range Manage. 54:648—652. 

McIntyre, S., andT.G. Martin. 2001. 
Biophysical and human influences on plant 
species richness in grasslands: Comparing 
variegated landscapes in subtropical and 
temperate regions. Aust. Ecol. 26:233-245. 

McKee, G., M.R. Ryan, and L.M. Mechlin. 
1998. Predicting greater prairie-chicken 
nest success from vegetation and landscape 
characteristics./. Wildlife Manage. 62:314—321. 

Menard, C, P. Duncan, G. Fleurance, J. 
Georges, et al. 2002. Comparative foraging 
and nutrition of horses and cattle in European 
weihnds. J. Appl. Ecol. 39:120-133. 

Mendiola-Gonzalez, A., PA. Martinez- 
Hernandez, E. Cortes-Diaz, and C. 
Sanchez-del Real. 2007. Effect of mixed and 
single grazing on an alfalfa-orchard pasture. 
Agrocien. 41:395-403. 

Merck. 2008. Merck veterinary manual online. 
In C. M. Kahn (ed.) Merck & Co., Whitehouse 
Station, NH. http://www.merckvetmanual.com/ 
mvm/index.jsp. 

Milchunas, D.G., and W.K. Lauenroth. 1993. 
Quantitative effects of grazing on vegetation and 
soils over a global range of environments. Ecol. 
Monogr. 63:327-366. 

Miller, J.J., D.S. Chanasyk, T. Curtis, and 
W.D. Willms. 2010. Influence of streambank 
fencing on the environmental quality of cattle- 
excluded pastures. / Environ. Qual. 39:991- 
1000. 

Mislevy, P., and EG. Martin. 2007. Yield and 
nutritive value of stockpiled grasses as influenced 
by cultural practices and a freeze. Online. Forage 
Grazingl. doi: 10.1094/FG-2007-0206-01-RS. 

Mislevy, P., EG. Martin, B.J. Downs, and K.L. 
Singer. 1989. Response of stargrass to grazing 



management, p. 1017—1018. In R. Desroches 
(ed.) Proc. Int. Grassl. Congress, 16th, Nice, 
France. 4-11 Oct. 1989. French Grassl. Soc, 
Versailles Cedex, France. 

Mislevy, P., M.J. Williams, A.S. Blount, and 
K.H. Quesenberry. 2007. Influence of harvest 
management on rhizoma perennial peanut 
production, nutritive value, and persistence 
on flatwood soils. Online. Forage Grazingl. 
doi:10.1094/FG-2007-1108-01-RS. 

Mitlohner, EM., M.L. Galyean, AND J.J. 

McGlone. 2002. Shade effects on performance, 
carcass traits, physiology, and behavior of heat- 
stressed feedlot heifers. / Anim. Sci. 80:2043- 
2050. 

Moore, K.J., K.P. Vogel, T.J. Klopfenstein, 
RA. Masters, et al. 1995. Evaluation of four 
intermediate wheatgrass populations under 
grazing. Agron. J. 87:744-747. 

Moreira, E, P. Beja, R. Morgado, L. Reino, 
et al. 2005. Effects of field management and 
landscape context on grassland wintering birds 
in Southern Portugal. Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 
109:59-74. 

Morrison, J.L., and S.R. Humphrey. 2001. 
Conservation value of private lands for crested 
caracaras in Florida. Conserv. Biol. 15:675-684. 

Mosely, J.C., P.S. Cook, A.J. Griffis, and J. 
O'Laughlin. 1999. Guidelines for managing 
cattle grazing in riparian areas to protect water 
quality: Review of research and best management 
practices policy. Idaho Forest, Wildl. Range 
Exp. Stn., Univ. of Idaho, Boise. Available at 
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/range/sites/default/ 
files/RNG455-555PDFLinks/Mosley_grazing_ 
strategies.pdf (verified 14 Feb. 2011). 

Moss, R.A., R.N. Burton, G.H. Scales, and D.J. 
Saville. 1998. Effect of cattle grazing strategies 
and pasture species on internal parasites of 
sheep. N.Z. J. Agric. Res. 41:533-544. 

Mott, G.O. 1960. Grazing pressure and the 
measurement of pasture production, p. 606- 
611. In C.L. Skidmore et al. (ed.) Proc. Int. 
Grassl. Congr., 8th. Reading, England. 11—21 
July 1960. Alden Press, Oxford, England. 

MOUSEL, E.M., W.H. SCHACHT, AND L.E. MoSER. 

2003. Summer grazing strategies following 
early-season grazing of big bluestem. Agron. J. 
95:1240-1245. 
Mousel, E.M., W.H. Schacht, C.W Zanner, 
and L.E. Moser. 2005. Effects of summer 
grazing strategies on organic reserves and 
root characteristics of big bluestem. Crop Sci. 
45:2008-2014. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



MOWREY, D.P., AND A.G. MATCHES. 1991. 

Persistence of sainfoin under different grazing 

regimes. Agron. J. 83:714-716. 
Nelson, C.J. 2000. Shoot morphological 

plasticity of grasses: Leaf growth vs. tillering, p. 

101-126. In G. Lemaire et al. (ed.) Grassland 

ecophysiology and grazing ecology. CABI Pub., 

New York. 
Newman, Y.C., L.E. Sollenberger, A.M. Fox, 

and C.G. Chambliss. 2003. Canopy height 

effects on vaseygrass and bermudagrass spread in 

limpograss pastures. Agron. J. 95:390-394. 
Newman, Y.C., L.E. Sollenberger, W.E. 

Kunkle, D.B. Bates. 2002a. Crude protein 

fractionation and degradation parameters of 

limpograss herbage. Agron. J. 94:1381-1386. 
Newman, Y.C., L.E. Sollenberger, W.E. 

Kunkle, and C.G. Chambliss. 2002b. Canopy 

height and nitrogen supplementation effects 

on performance of heifers grazing limpograss. 

Agron. J. 94:1375-1380. 
Niemi, R.M., and J.S. Niemi. 1991. Bacterial 

pollution of waters in pristine and agricultural 

lands./. Environ. Qual. 20:620—627. 
Nienaber, J.A., and G.L. Hahn. 2007. Livestock 

production system management responses to 

thermal challenges. Int./. Biometeorol. 52:149— 

157. 
Nienaber, J.A., G.L. Hahn, and R.A. Eigenberg. 

1999. Quantifying livestock responses for heat 

stress management: A review. Int. / Biometeorol. 

42:183-188. 
NOAA. 2005. Climate maps of the United States: 

Annual mean total precipitation quick search 

lower 48 states. NOAA Satellite and Inform. 

Serv., Washington, DC. 
Nolan, T., and J. Connolly. 1989. Mixed versus 

mono-grazing by steers and sheep. Anim. Prod. 

48:519-533. 
Norton, B.E. 2003. Spatial management of 

grazing to enhance both livestock production 

and resource condition: A scientific argument. 

p. 810-820. In N. AIIsopp et al. (ed.) Proc. Int. 

Rangel. Cong., 7th, 26 July-l to Aug. 2003. 

Durban, South Africa. 
Noy-Meir, I., and D. Kaplan. 2002. Species 

richness of annual legumes in relation to grazing 

in Mediterranean vegetation in northern Israel. 

Israel J. Plant Sei. 50:S95-S109. 
NRCS. 2007. Prescribed grazing. Available at 

http://efotg.nrcs.usda.gov/references/public/NE/ 

NE528.pdf (verified 15 May 2010). 
O'Donovan, M., and L. Delaby. 2008. Sward 

characteristics, grass dry matter intake and milk 



production performance is affected by timing 
of spring grazing and subsequent stocking rate. 
Livestock Sei. 115:158-168. 

Oliver, D.M., CD. Clegg, P.M. Haygarth, and 
A.L. Heathwaite. 2005. Assessing the potential 
for pathogen transfer from grassland soils to 
surface waters. Adv. Agron. 85:125-180. 

Olson, K.C, and J.C. Malechek. 1988. Heifer 
nutrition and growth on short duration grazed 
crested wheatgrass. / Range Manage. 41:259— 
263. 

Olson, K.C, R.D. Wiedmeier, J.E. Bowns, 
and R.L. Hurst. 1999. Livestock response to 
multispecies and deferred-rotation grazing on 
forested rangeland./ Range Manage. 52:462— 
470. 

Olson, M.E., C.L. Thorlakson, L. Deselliers, 
DW. Morck, et al. 1997. Giardia and 
Cryptosporidium in Canadian farm animals. Vet. 
Parasitol. 68:375-381. 

Ortega-S., J.A., L.E. Sollenberger, J.M. 

Bennett, and J. A. Cornell. 1992a. Rhizome 
characteristics and canopy light interception 
of grazed rhizoma peanut pastures. Agron. J. 
84:804-809. 

Ortega-S., J.A., L.E. Sollenberger, K.H. 

QUESENBERRY, JA. CORNELL, ET AL. 1992b. 

Productivity and persistence of rhizoma peanut 
pastures under different grazing managements. 
Agron. J. 84:799-804. 

Owens, L.B., and J.V. Bonta. 2004. Reduction 
of nitrate leaching with haying or grazing and 
omission of nitrogen fertilizer./ Environ. Qual. 
33:1230-1237. 

Owens, L.B., WM. Edwards, and R.W Van 
Keuren. 1983a. Surface runoff water quality 
comparisons between unimproved pasture and 
woodland. / Environ. Qual. 12:518—522. 

Owens, L.B., WM. Edwards, and R.W. Van 
Keuren. 1989. Sediment and nutrient losses 
from an unimproved, all-year grazed watershed. 
/ Environ. Qual. 18:232-238. 

Owens, L.B., WM. Edwards, and R.W. Van 
Keuren. 1996. Sediment losses from a pastured 
watershed before and after stream fencing. / Soil 
Water Conserv. 51:90-94. 

Owens, L.B., WM. Edwards, and R.W. Van 
Keuren. 1997. Runoff and sediment losses 
resulting from winter feeding on pastures. / Soil 
Water Conserv. 52:194-197. 

Owens, L.B., and M.J. Shipitalo. 2006. Surface 
and subsurface phosphorus losses from fertilized 
pasture systems in Ohio. / Environ. Qual. 
35:1101-1109. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Owens, L.B., and M.J. Shipitalo. 2009. Runoff 
quality evaluations of continuous and rotational 
over-wintering systems for beef cows. Agric. 
Ecosys. Environ. 129:482-490. 

Owens, L.B., M.J. Shipitalo, and J.V. Bonta. 
2008. Water quality response times to pasture 
management changes in small and large 
watersheds./. Soil Water Conserv. 63:292-299. 

Owens, L.B., R.W. Van Keuren, and W.M. 
Edwards. 1982. Environmental effects of a 
medium-fertility 12-month pasture program: 
I. Hydrology and soil loss. /. Environ. Qual. 
11:236-240. 

Owens, L.B., R.W. Van Keuren, and W.M. 
Edwards. 1983b. Hydrology and soil loss from 
a high-fertility, rotational pasture program. /. 
Environ. Qual. 12:341-346. 

Owens, L.B., R.W. Van Keuren, and W.M. 
Edwards. 1983c. Nitrogen loss from a high- 
fertility, rotational pasture program. /. Environ. 
Qual. 12:346-350. 

Owens, L.B., R.W. Van Keuren, and W.M. 
Edwards. 2003. Non-nitrogen nutrient inputs 
and outputs for fertilized pastures in silt loam 
soils in four small Ohio watersheds. Agric. Ecosys. 
Environ. 97:117-130. 

Paine, L.K., and C.A. Ribic. 2002. Comparison 
of riparian plant communities under four land 
management systems in southwestern Wisconsin. 
Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 92:93—105. 

Paine, L.K., D.J. Undersander, D.W Sample, 
G.A. Bartelt, et al. 1996. Cattle trampling of 
simulated ground nests in rotationally grazed 
pastures./. Range Manage. 49:294-300. 

Parsons, A.J., I.R. Johnson, and J.H.H. 

Williams. 1988. Leafage structure and canopy 
photosynthesis in rotationally and continuously 
grazed swards. Grass Forage Sci. 43:1-14. 

Pasquarell, CO, and D.G. Boyer. 1995. 
Agricultural impacts on bacterial water quality 
in karst groundwater./ Environ. Qual. 24:959— 
969. 

Paterson, J., C. Forcherio, B. Larson, M. 
Samford, et al. 1995. The effects of fescue 
toxicosis on beef cattle productivity. / Anim. Sci. 
73:889-898. 

Pavlu, V., M. Hejcman, L. Pavlu, and J. Gaisler. 
2007. Restoration of grazing management and 
its effect on vegetation in an upland grassland. 
Appl. Vegetable Sci. 10:375-382. 

Pedreira, COS., L.E. Sollenberger, and P. 
Mislevy. 1999. Productivity and nutritive value 
of 'Florakirk' bermudagrass as affected by grazing 
management. Agron. J. 91 :796-80 1 . 



Petersen, R.G., H.L. Lucas, and CO. Mott. 
1965. Relationship between rate of stocking and 
per animal and per acre performance on pasture. 
Agron. J. 57:27-30. 

Phillip, L.E., P. Goldsmith, M. Bergeron, 
and PR. Peterson. 2001. Optimizing pasture 
management for cow-calf production: The roles 
of rotational frequency and stocking rate in the 
context of system efficiency. Can. / Anim. Sci. 
81:47-56. 

Pitman, W.D., R.V. Machen, and K.R. Pond. 
1994. Grazing evaluation of Bigalta and Floralta 
limpograss. Crop Sci. 3^:2\Q—2\A. 

Platts, WS. 1981. Effects of sheep grazing on 
riparian-stream environment. USDA Forest Serv. 
Res. Note INT-307. Intermountain Forest and 
Range Exp. Stn., Moscow, ID. 

Poore, M.H., M.E. Scott, and J.T. Green, 
Jr. 2006. Performance of beef heifers grazing 
stockpiled fescue as influenced by supplemental 
whole cottonseed./ Anim. Sci. 84: 1613—1625. 

Popp, J.D., WR McCaughey, and R.D.H. 
Cohen. 1997a. Grazing system and stocking 
rate effects on the productivity, botanical 
composition and soil surface characteristics of 
alfalfa-grass pastures. Can. / Anim. Sci. 77:669— 
676. 

Popp, J. D., W P. McCaughey, and R. D. H. 
Cohen. 1997b. Effect of grazing system, 
stocking rate and season of use on herbage 
intake and grazing behaviour of stocker cattle 
grazing alfalfa-grass pastures. Can./ Anim. Sci. 
77:677-682. 

Porath, M.L., PA. Momont, T. DelCurto, 
N.R. Rimbey, et al. 2002. Offstream water 
and trace mineral salt as management strategies 
for improved cattle distribution. / Anim. Sci. 
80:346-356. 

Potter, K.N., J.A. Daniel, W Altom, and H.A. 
Torbert. 2001. Stocking rate effect on soil 
carbon and nitrogen in degraded soils. / Soil 
Water Conserv. 56:233-236. 

Prins, H.H.T., and H. Fritz. 2008. Species 
diversity of browsing and grazing ungulates: 
Consequences for the structure and abundance 
of secondary production, p. 179-200. In I.J. 
Gordon and H.H.T. Prins (ed.) The ecology of 
browsing and grazing. Springer, Berlin. 

Prokopy, L.S., K Floress, D. Klotthor- 
Weinkauf, and A. Baumgart-Getz. 2008. 
Determinants of agricultural best management 
practice adoption: Evidence from the literature. 
/ Soil Water Conserv. 63:300-311. 

PUTFARKEN, D., J. DeNGLER, S. LeHMANN, AND 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



W. Hardtle. 2008. Site use of grazing cattle 
and sheep in a large-scale pasture landscape: A 
GPS/GIS assessment. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 
111:54-67. 
Pykala, J. 2003. Effects of restoration with cattle 
grazing on plant species composition and 
richness of semi-natural grasslands. Biodivers. 
Conserv. 12:2211—2226. 

QUESENBERRY, K.H., AND W.R. OCUMPAUGH. 

1982. Mineral composition of autumn-winter 
stockpiled limpograss. Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) 
59:283-286. 

Quinn, J.M., R.B. Williamson, R.K. Smith, and 
M.L. Vickers. 1992. Effects of riparian grazing 
and channelisation on streams in Southland, 
New Zealand. 2. Benthic invertebrates. N.Z. J. 
Marine Freshwater Res. 26:259-273. 

Redfearn, D.D., B.C. Venuto, W.D. Pitman, 
M.W. Alison, et al. 2002. Cultivar and 
environment effects on annual ryegrass forage 
yield, yield distribution, and nutritive value. 
Crop Sci. 42:2049-2054. 

Renfrew, R.B., and C.A. Ribic. 2001. Grassland 
birds associated with agricultural riparian 
practices in southwestern Wisconsin./. Range 
Manage. 54:546-552. 

Renter, D.G., J.M. Sargeant, and L.L. 

Hungerford. 2004. Distribution of Escherichia 
coli 0157:H7 within and among cattle 
operations in pasture-based agricultural areas. 
Am. J. Vet. Res. 65:1367-1376. 

Riesterer, J.L., D.J. Undersander, M.C. 
Casler, and D.K. Combs. 2000. Forage yield 
of stockpiled perennial grasses in the upper 
Midwest USA. Agron. J. 92:740-747. 

Roche, J.R., P. Dillon, S. Crosse, and M. Rath. 
1996. The effect of closing date of pasture in 
autumn and turnout date in spring on sward 
characteristics, dry matter yield and milk 
production of spring-calving dairy cows. Irish J. 
Agric. Food Res. 35:127-140. 

Rook, A.J., and J. R.B. Tallowin. 2003. Grazing 
and pasture management for biodiversity benefit. 
Anim. Res. 52:181-189. 

Roth, L.D., EM. Rouquette, Jr., and WC 
Ellis. 1990. Effects of herbage allowance 
on herbage and dietary attributes of Coastal 
bermudagrass. /. Anim. Sci. 68:193-205. 

Rowarth, J.S., R.W Tillman, A.G. Gillingham, 
and P.E.H. Gregg. 1992. Phosphorus balances 
in grazed hill-country pastures: The effect of 
slope and fertilizer input. N.Z. J. Agric. Res. 
35:337-342. 

Sample, D.W, C.A. Ribic, and R.B. Renfrew. 



2003. Linking landscape management with the 
conservation of grassland birds in Wisconsin, p. 
359-385. In J A. Bissonette and I. Storch (ed.) 
Landscape ecology and resource management: 
Linking theory with practice. Island Press, 
Washington, DC. 

Sanderson, M.A., C. Feldman, J. Schmidt, A. 
Hermann, et al. 2010. Spatial distribution of 
livestock concentration areas and soil nutrients 
in pastures./. Soil Water Conserv. 65:180-189. 

Sanderson, M.A., R. Skinner, D. Barker, G. 
Edwards, et al. 2004. Plant species diversity 
and management of temperate forage and 
grazing land ecosystems. Crop Sci. 44: 1 132— 
1144. 

Sargeant, J.M., J.R. Gillespie, R.D. Oberst, 
R.K. Phebus, et al. 2000. Results of a 
longitudinal study of the prevalence of 
Escherichia coli 0157:H7 on cow-calf farms. Am. 
J. Vet. Res. 61: 1375-1379. 

Sarr, DA. 2002. Riparian livestock exclosure 
research in the western United States: A critique 
and some recommendations. Environ. Manage. 
30:516-526. 

Sartz, R.S., and D.N. Tolsted. 1974. Effect of 
grazing on runoff from two small watersheds 
in southwestern Wisconsin. Water Resourc. Res. 
10:354-356. 

Saul, G.R., and D.E Chapman. 2002. Grazing 
methods, productivity and sustainability for 
sheep and beef pastures in temperate Australia. 
WoolTechnol. Sheep Breed. 50:449-464. 

SCAGLIA, G., WS. SWECKER, Jr., J.R FONTENOT, D. 

Fiske, et al. 2008. Forage systems for cow-calf 
production in the Appalachian region. / Anim. 
Sci. 86:2032-2042. 

SCARBROUGH, DA., WK. COBLENTZ, K.P. COFFEY, 

K.F. Harrison, et al. 2004. Effects of nitrogen 
fertilization rate, stockpiling initiation date, and 
harvest date on canopy height and dry matter 
yield of autumn-stockpiled bermudagrass. Agron. 
J. 96:538-546. 

SCARBROUGH, DA., WK. COBLENTZ, K.P. COFFEY, 

D.S. Hubbell III, et al. 2006. Effects of forage 
management on the nutritive value of stockpiled 
bermudagrass. Agron. J. 98:1280-1289. 

Scarnecchia, D.L. 1985. The animal-unit and 
animal-unit-equivalent concepts in range 
science./ Range Manage. 38:346-349. 

Scarnecchia, D.L. 1986. Viewpoint: Animal-unit 
equivalents cannot be meaningfully weighted 
by indices of dietary overlap. / Range Manage. 
39:471. 

Scarnecchia, D.L. 1990. Concepts of carrying 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



capacity and substitution ratios: A systems 
viewpoint./. Range Manage. 43:553-555. 
Schepers, J.S., B.L. Hackes, and D.D. Francis. 
1982. Chemical water quality of runoff from 
grazing land in Nebraska II. Contributing 
factors./. Environ. Qual. 11:355-359. 

SCHLEGEL, M.L., C.J. WACHENHEIM, M.E. 

Benson, N.K. Ames, et al. 2000a. Grazing 
methods and stocking rates for direct-seeded 
alfalfa pastures: II. Plant quality and diet 
selection./ Anim. Sci. 78:2202-2208. 

SCHLEGEL, M.L., C.J. 'WACHENHEIM, M.E. 

Benson, J.R. Black, et al. 2000b. Grazing 
methods and stocking rates for direct-seeded 
alfalfa pastures: I. Plant productivity and animal 
performance./ Anim. Sci. 78:2192—2201. 

Schomberg, H.H., JA. Stuedemann, A.J. 
Franzluebbers, and S.R. Wilkinson. 2000. 
Spatial distribution of extractable phosphorus, 
potassium, and magnesium as influenced by 
fertilizer and tall fescue endophyte status. Agron. 
J. 92:981-986. 

Schukken, Y.H., F.J. Grommers, D. Van De 
Geer, H.N. Erb, et al. 1990. Risk factors for 
clinical mastitis in herds with a low bulk milk 
somatic cell count. 1 . Data and risk factors for 
all cases. / Dairy Sci. 73:3463-3471. 

Schukken, Y.H., F.J. Grommers, D. Van De 
Geer, H.N. Erb, et al. 1991. Risk factors for 
clinical mastitis in herds with a low bulk milk 
somatic cell count. 2. Risk factors for Escherichia 
coli and Staphylococcus aureus. J. Dairy Sci. 
74:826-832. 

SCRIMGEOUR, G.J. , AND S. KENDALL. 2002. 

Consequences of livestock grazing on water 
quality and benthic algal biomass in a Canadian 
natural grassland plateau. Environ. Manage. 
29:824-844. 

Scrimgeour, G.J., and S. Kendall. 2003. Effects 
of livestock grazing on benthic invertebrates 
from a native grassland ecosystem. Freshwater 
Biol. 48:347-362. 

Sharpley, A.N., and P. Kleinman. 2003. Effect 
of rainfall simulator and plot scale on overland 
flow and phosphorus transport. / Environ. Qual. 
32:2172-2179. 

Sharpley, A.N., and S.J. Smith. 1994. Wheat 
tillage and water quality in the Southern Plains. 
Soil Tillage Res. 30:33-48. 

Sheffield, R.E., S. Mostaghimi, D.H. Vaughan, 
E.R. Collins, Jr, et al. 1997. Off-stream 
water sources for grazing cattle as a stream bank 
stabilization and water quality BMP. Trans. 
ASAE 40:595-604. 



Sherer, B.M., J.R. Miner, JA. Moore, and 
J.C. Buckhouse. 1992. Indicator bacterial 
survival in stream sediments. / Environ. Qual. 
21:591-595. 

Shirmohammadi, A., K.S. Yoon, and W.L. 
Magette. 1997. Water quality in mixed land- 
use watershed — Piedmont Region in Maryland. 
Trans. ASAE 40:1563-1572. 

Shore, L.S., and M. Shemesh. 2003. Naturally 
produced steroid hormones and their release into 
the environment. Pure Appl. Chem. 75:1859— 
1871. 

Short, J.J., and J.E. Knight. 2003. Fall grazing 
affects big game forage on rough fescue 
grasslands./ Range Manage. 56:213—217. 

Siri-Prieto, G., D.W Reeves, and R.L. Raper 
2007. Tillage systems for a cotton-peanut 
rotation with winter-annual grazing: Impacts on 
soil carbon, nitrogen and physical properties. 
Soil Tillage Res. 96:260-268. 

Smith, R.C.G., and W.A. Williams. 1976. 
Deferred grazing of Mediterranean annual 
pasture for increased winter sheep production. 
Agric. Sys. 1:37-45. 

Smith, S.R., Jr, J.H. Bouton, and C.S. 
Hoveland. 1989. Alfalfa persistence and 
regrowth potential under continuous grazing. 
Agron. J. 81:960-965. 

Smith, S.R., Jr, J.H. Bouton, and C.S. 

Hoveland. 1992. Persistence of alfalfa under 
continuous grazing in pure stands and in 
mixtures with tall fescue. Crop Sci. 32:1259- 
1264. 

S6DERSTROM, B., B. SvENSSON, K. VeSSBY, AND 

A. Glimskar 2001. Plants, insects and birds 
in semi-natural pastures in relation to local 
habitat and landscape factors. Biodivers. Conserv. 
10:1839-1863. 

Sollenberger, L.E., and D.J.R. Cherney. 1995. 
Evaluating forage production and quality, p. 
97-1 10. In R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: The 
science of grassland agriculture. Iowa State Univ. 
Press, Ames, IA. 

Sollenberger, L.E., J.E. Moore, V.G. Allen, 
and C.G.S. Pedreira. 2005. Reporting forage 
allowance in grazing experiments. Crop Sci. 
45:896-900. 

Sollenberger, L. E., and Y. C. Newman. 
2007. Grazing management, p. 651—659. In 
R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: The science of 
grassland agriculture. Blackwell Publishing, 
Ames, IA. 

Sollenberger, L.E., and K.H. Quesenberry. 
1986. Seed production responses of 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



Aeschynomene americana L. to grazing 
management. Soil Crop Sci. Soc. Fla. Proc. 
45:157-161. 

SOLLENBERGER, L.E., AND E.S. VaNZANT. 201 1. 

Interrelationships among forage nutritive 
value and quantity and individual animal 
performance. Crop Sci. 51:420—432. 
Soto-Grajales, N. 2002. Livestock grazing and 
riparian areas in the Northeast. USDA-NRCS, 
Washington, DC. 

SOVELL, L.A., B. VONDRACEK, J.A. FrOST, AND 

K.G. Mumford. 2000. Impacts of rotational 
grazing and riparian buffers on physiochemical 
and biological characteristics of southeastern 
Minnesota, USA, streams. Environ. Manage. 
26:629-641. 

Squires, V.R. 1982. Dietary overlap between 
sheep, cattle, and goats when grazing in 
common./. Range Manage. 35:116-119. 

Starkey, S.R., K.R. Kimber, S.E. Wade, S.L. 
Schaaf, et al. 2006. Risk factors associated 
with Cryptosporidium infection on dairy farms 
in a New York State watershed. /. Dairy Sci. 
89:4229-4236. 

Stephenson, C.R., and R.C. Rychert. 1982. 
Bottom sediment: A reservoir of Escherichia 
coli in rangeland streams. /. Range Manage. 
35:119-123. 

Stewart, B.A., R. Lal, and S.A. El-Swaify. 1991. 
Sustaining the resource base of an expanding 
world agriculture, p. 125-144. In R. Lal and EJ. 
Pierce (ed.) Soil management for sustainability. 
Soil Water Conserv. Soc, Ankeny, IA. 

Stewart, G.B., and A.S. Pullin. 2008. The 
relative importance of grazing stock type and 
grazing intensity for conservation of mesotrophic 
'old meadow' pasture. /. Nature Conserv. 
16:175-185. 

Stewart, R.L., Jr., J.C.B. Dubeux, Jr., L.E. 

SOLLENBERGER, J.M.B. VeNDRAMINI, ET AL. 

2005. Stocking method affects plant responses 

of Pensacola bahiagrass pastures. Online. 

Forage Grazingl. doi:10.1094/FG-2005-1028- 

01-RS. 
Stout, W.L. 2003. Effect of urine volume on 

nitrate leaching in the northeast USA. Nutr. 

Cycl. Agroecosys. 67:197-203. 
Stout, W.L., S.L. Fales, L.D. Muller, R.R. 

Schnabel, et al. 2000. Assessing the effect of 

management intensive grazing on water quality 

in the northeast./. Soil Water Conserv. 55:238- 

243. 
Stout, W.L., S.L. Fales, L.D. Muller, R.R. 

Schnabel, et al. 1997. Nitrate leaching from 



cattle urine and feces in northeast USA. Soil Sci. 
Soc. Am. J. 61:1787-1794. 
Stout, W.L., W.J. Gburek, R.R. Schnabel, G.J. 
Folmar, et al. 1998. Soil-climate effects on 
nitrate leaching from cattle excreta. / Environ. 
Qual. 27:992-998. 

STRAUCH, T.A., E.J. SCHOLLJEGERDES, D.J. 

Patterson, M.E Smith, et al. 2001. Influence 
of undegraded intake protein on reproductive 
performance of primiparous beef heifers 
maintained on stockpiled fescue pasture. / 
Anim. Sci. 79:574-581. 

Sutter, B., and G. Ritchison. 2005. Effects of 
grazing on vegetation structure, prey availability, 
and reproductive success of grasshopper 
sparrows. J. Field Ornithol. 76:345-351. 

Taylor, C.A., Jr. 1985. Multispecies grazing 
research overview (Texas), p. 65-83. In EH. 
Baker and R.K. Jones (ed.) Proc. Conf. on 
Multispecies Grazing. 25-28 June 1985. 
Morrilton, AR. Winrock Int. Inst. Agric. 
Develop., Morrilton, AR. 

Taylor, T.H., and WC. Templeton, Jr 1976. 
Stockpiling Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue 
forage for winter pasturage. Agron. J. 68:235-239. 

Teague, W.R., and S.L. Dowhower. 2003. Patch 
dynamics under rotational and continuous 
grazing management in large, heterogeneous 
paddocks. / Arid Environ. 53:21 1-229. 

Tharel, L.M. 1989. Rotational grazing on three 
bermudagrass cultivars. p. 17-19. In E.M. 
Williams (ed.) Current topics on beef cattle 
research in Arkansas. Arkansas Exp. Stn. Spec. 
Rep. 137. Little Rock, AR. 

Thomas, R.J. 1992. The role of the legume in the 
nitrogen cycle of productive and sustainable 
pastures. Grass Forage Sci. 47:133-142. 

Thomas, V.M., R.W Kott, and R.W 

Ditterline. 1995. Sheep production response 
to continuous and rotational stocking on 
dryland alfalfa/grass pasture. Sheep Goat Res. J. 
11:122-126. 

Tichit, M., O. Renault, and T Potter. 2005. 
Grazing regime as a tool to assess positive side 
effects of livestock farming systems on wading 
birds. livestock Prod. Sci. 96:109-117. 

TlEDEMANN, A.R., DA. HlGGINS, T.M. QjJIGLEY, 

H.R. Sanderson, et al. 1987. Responses of 
fecal coliform in streamwater to four grazing 
strategies./ Range Manage. 40:322-329. 
Tollner, E.W, G.V. Calvert, and G. Langdale. 
1990. Animal trampling effects on soil physical 
properties of two southeastern U.S. Ultisols. 
Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 33:75-87. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



L. E. Sollenberger, C. T. Agouridis, E. S. Vanzant, A. J. Franzluebbers, and L. B. Owens 



Tracy, B.F., and M.A. Sanderson. 2000. Patterns 
of plant species richness in pasture lands of the 
northeast United States. Plant Ecol. 149:169- 
180. 

Trimble, S.W. 1994. Erosional effects of cattle on 
streambanks in Tennessee, U.S.A. Earth Surface 
Proc. Landforms 19:451-464. 

Trimble, S.W., and A.C. Mendel. 1995. The 
cow as a geomorphic agent — A critical review. 
Geomorphology 13:233-253. 

Tucker, C.B., A.R. Rogers, and K.E. Schutz. 
2008. Effect of solar radiation on dairy cattle 
behaviour, use of shade and body temperature in 
a pasture-based system. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 
109:141-154. 

USDA-NRCS. 2003. National range and pasture 
handbook. USDA-NRCS Grazing Lands 
Technol. Inst., Fort Worth, TX. 

USFW. 2003. Running buffalo clover. US Fish and 
Wildlife, Fort Snelling, MN. Available at http:// 
www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/plants/pdf/ 
rbc- fctsht.pdf (verified 26 Jan. 2012). 

Usman, H. 1994. Cattle trampling and soil 
compaction effects on soil properties of a 
northeastern Nigerian sandy loam. Arid Soil Res. 
Rehab. 8:69-75. 

Valencia, E., M.J. Williams, C.C. Chase, Jr, 
L.E. Sollenberger, etal. 2001. Pasture 
management effects on diet composition and 
cattle performance on continuously stocked 
rhizoma peanut-mixed grass swards. /. Anim. Sci. 
79:2456-2464. 

Vallentine, J.E 2001. Grazing management. 2nd 
ed. Academic Press, San Diego, CA. 

Van Donsel, D.J., and E.E. Geldreich. 1971. 
Relationships of Salmonellae to fecal coliforms 
in bottom sediments. Water Res. 5:1079-1087. 

Van Keuren, R.W, and A.G. Matches. 1988. 
Pasture production and utilization, p. 515-538. 
In AA. Hanson et al. (ed.) Alfalfa and alfalfa 
improvement. ASA, CSSA, SSSA. Madison, WI. 

Van Poolen, H.W, and J.R. Lacey. 1979. 
Herbage response to grazing systems and 
stocking intensities. /. Range Manage. 32:250— 
253. 

Van Soest, P.J. 1994. Nutritional ecology of the 
ruminant. 2nd ed. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, 
NY. 

Vanzant, E.S. 2010. Stocking rates for early- 
season grazing of endophyte-infected tall fescue, 
p. 1 1-20. In J. Lehmkuhler (ed.) Univ. of 
Kentucky 2010 Beef Res. Ext. Rep. SP-104. 
Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. 

Vavra, M. 2005. Livestock grazing and wildlife: 



Developing compatibilities. Rangel. Ecol. 

Manage. 58:128-134. 
Veni, G. 2002. Revising the karst map of the 

United States. /. Cave Karst Studies 64:45-50. 
Vidon, P., M.A. Campbell, and M. Gray. 2008. 

Unrestricted cattle access to streams and water 

quality in till landscape of the Midwest. Agric. 

Water Manage. 95:322-330. 
Vines, K.A., V.G. Allen, M. Alley, J.R 

Fontenot, et al. 2006. Nitrogen fertilization 

or legumes in tall fescue pastures affect soil and 

forage nitrogen. Online. Forage Grazingl. doi: 

10.1 094/FG-2006-09 1 8-0 1 -RS. 

VlRKAJARVI, P., A. SAIRANEN, J.I. NOUSIAINEN, AND 

H. Khalili. 2003. Sward and milk production 
response to early turnout of dairy cows to 
pasture in Finland. Agric. Food Sci. (Finland) 
12:21-34. 

Vogel, K.R, B.C. Gabrielsen, J.K. Ward, B.E. 
Anderson, etal. 1993. Forage quality, mineral 
constituents, and performance of beef yearlings 
grazing two crested wheatgrasses. Agron. J. 
85:584-590. 

Volesky, J.D. 1994. Tiller defoliation patterns 
under frontal, continuous, and rotation grazing. 
/. Range Manage. 47:215-219. 

Volesky, J.D., and B.E. Anderson. 2007. 

Defoliation effects on production and nutritive 
value of four irrigated cool-season perennial 
grasses. Agron. J. 99:494-500. 

Volesky, J.D., B.E. Anderson, and M.C. 
Stockton. 2008. Species and stockpile 
initiation date effects on yield and nutritive value 
of irrigated cool-season grasses. Agron. J. 100- 
931-937. 

Volesky, J.D., E de Achaval O'Farrell, WC. 
Ellis, M.M. Kothmann, et al. 1994. A 
comparison of frontal, continuous, and rotation 
grazing systems./. Range Manage. 47:210—214. 

Walker, J.W 1994. Multispecies grazing: The 
ecological advantage. Sheep Res. J. Special Issue: 
52-64. 

Walker, J.W. 1995. Viewpoint: Grazing 

management and research now and in the next 
millenium. /. Range Manage. 48:350-357. 

Wang, L., J. Lyons, and P. Kanehl. 2002. Effects 
of watershed best management practices on 
habitat and fish in Wisconsin streams. /. Am. 
Water Resour. Assoc. 38:663-680. 

Wang, L., J. Lyons, and P. Kanehl. 2006. 
Habitat and fish responses to multiple 
agricultural best management practices in a 
warm water stream. /. Am. Water Resour. Assoc. 
42:1047-1062. 



CHAPTER 3: Prescribed Grazing on Pasturelands 



Wang, G., T. Zhao, and M.P. Doyle. 1996. Fate 
of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli 0157:H7 
in bovine feces. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 
62:2567-2570. 

Warren, S.D., WH. Blackburn, and C.A. 
Taylor, Jr 1986. Soil hydrologic response to 
number of pastures and stocking density under 
intensive rotation grazing. /. Range Manage. 
39:500-504. 

Waters, T.F. 1995. Sediment in streams: sources, 
biological effects, and control. American 
Fisheries Society Monographs, Bethesda, MD. 

Weaver, R.W, J.A. Entry, and A. Graves. 2005. 
Numbers of fecal streptococci and Escherichia 
coli in fresh and dry cattle, horse, and sheep 
manure. Can. J. Microbiol. 51:847-851. 

Weigel, B.M., J. Lyons, L.K. Paine, S.I. Dodson, 
and D.J. Undersander 2000. Using stream 
macroinvertebrates to compare riparian land 
use practices on cattle farms in southwestern 
Wisconsin./. Freshwater Ecol. 15:93-106. 

West, C.P., A.E Mallarino, W.F Wedin, and 
D.B. Marx. 1989. Spatial variability of soil 
chemical properties in grazed pastures. Soil Sci. 
Soc.Am.J. 53:784-789. 

Wilkinson, S.R., J.A. Stuedemann, and D.P 
Belesky. 1989. Soil potassium distribution in 
grazed K-31 tall fescue pastures as affected by 
fertilization and endophytic fungus infection 
level. Agron. J. 8 1 : 5 08-5 1 2 . 

Williamson, R.B., R.K. Smith, and J.M. 

Quinn. 1992. Effects of ripiarian grazing and 
channelisation on streams in Southland, New 
Zealand. 1 . Channel form and stability. N.Z. J. 
Marine Freshwater Res. 26:241-258. 

Willms, W.D., O.R. Kenzie, T.A. McAllister, 
D. Colwell, et al. 2002. Effects of water 
quality on cattle performance. /. Range Manage. 
55:452-460. 



Wilson, A.D., and WE. Mulham. 1980. 
Vegetation changes and animal productivity 
under sheep and goat grazing on an arid belah 
(Casuarina cristata)-rosewood [Heterodendrum 
oleifolium) woodland in western New South 
Wales. Aust. Range I. J. 2:183-188. 

Wohl, N.E., and R.F Carline. 1996. Relations 
among riparian grazing, sediment loads, 
macroinvertebrates, and fishes in three central 
Pennsylvania streams. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 
53:260-266. 

WOODARD, K.R., AND L.E. SOLLENBERGER. 

201 1. Broiler litter vs. ammonium nitrate as N 
source for bermudagrass hay production: Yield, 
nutritive value, and nitrate leaching. Crop Sci. 
51:1342-1352. 

Worrell, M.A., D.J. Undersander, and A. 
Khalilian. 1992. Grazing wheat to different 
morphological stages for effects on grain 
yield and soil compaction. /. Prod. Agric. 
5:81-85. 

Zaimes, G.N., R.C. Schultz, and T.M. 
Isenhart. 2006. Riparian land uses and 
precipitation influences on stream bank erosion 
in central Iowa. /. Am. Water Resour. Assoc. 
42:83-97. 

Zaimes, G.N., R.C. Schultz, and T.M. Isenhart. 
2008a. Streambank soil and phosphorus losses 
under different riparian land-uses in Iowa. /. Am. 
Water Resour. Assoc. 44:935-947. 

Zaimes, G.N., R.C. Schultz, and T.M. Isenhart. 
2008b. Total phosphorus concentrations and 
compaction in riparian areas under different 
riparian land uses of Iowa. Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 
127:22-30. 

Zuo, H., and M.S. Miller-Goodman. 2004. 
Landscape use by cattle affected by pasture 
developments and season. J. Range Manage. 
57:426-434. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 




^SSSSteBiZSMSfa*; 



PTER 



Forage Harvest Management 

C. Jerry Nelson 1 , Daren D. Redfearn 2 , and Jerry H. Cherney 3 

Authors are 'Curators' Professor Emeritus, Plant Sciences, University of Missouri; 

2 Associate Professor, Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University; 

and 3 E. V. Baker Professor, Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University. 

Correspondence: C. Jerry Nelson, 205 Curtis Hall, 

University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 6521 1 

nelsoncj@missouri.edu 



Reference to any commercial product or service is made with the understanding 
that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by USDA is implied 




u 



management to provide 
ecosystem benefits and 
the economic return 
can be complementary, 
but in many cases the 
desired outcomes are 
competitive. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



Forage Harvest Management 



C. Jerry Nelson, Daren D. Redfearn, and Jerry H. Cherney 



INTRODUCTION 

The NRCS Conservation Practice Standard 
Code 511 (see Appendix I) addresses timely 
cutting and removal of forages from the field 
as hay, green-chop, or silage to optimize yield 
and quality of the product while maintaining 
stands for the desired length of time. In 
addition, there are implied and stated criteria 
for environmental and wildlife benefits, 
respectively. However, achieving these benefits 
may require altering management to accept 
some reduction of yield or quality to maintain 
or enhance abundance and diversity of wildlife, 
reduce soil erosion, and reduce contaminants 
such as fertilizer elements and pesticides from 
entering surface and groundwater. Code 511 
contains a series of prescribed purposes and 
criteria or guides for achieving each purpose. A 
team of respected forage specialists was formed 
to determine the science base for the practice 
standard (Table 4.1). 

The primary goal of the harvest manager is to 
obtain a good yield of a quality product that 
allows for stand persistence. Until recently 
economic returns to the land owner/client have 
been assumed to include the basic foundation 
for meeting conservation goals and providing 
other desired ecosystem services. In some 
cases the management to provide ecosystem 
benefits and the economic return can be 
complementary, but in many cases the desired 
outcomes are competitive. 

This shows the need for literature assessments 
to determine what management changes 
would improve the provision of these long- 
term services with the least effect on economic 
value of the forage harvested. The literature 
assessment will also expose deficiencies in 
research information (Table 4.1). 



The evaluation team recognizes that 
Conservation Practice Standards are written as 
the base for meeting national priorities, so by 
design they are broad and more general to form 
the foundation. The purposes and criteria are 
then adapted to state and even local conditions 
for planning, education, and implementation 
of practices. In that way, proposed use of 
the forage, species of forage harvested, soil 
resources, and local environmental and 
wildlife concerns need to be considered during 
implementation. In most cases, research is 
focused on basic principles that need to be 
interpreted to fit the situation on each specific 
landscape where the practice is being applied. 
States can utilize research to build on the 
national standard to address specific situations 
and needs. Further, local knowledge and 
experience of agency personnel are needed 
to fine-tune applications of the practice for 
specific sites and goals. 

With the above broad perspective we 
considered the major forage species according 
to region of adaption. This mostly led to 
conclusions regarding tolerance to low and 
high temperatures and to drought stress, 
which primarily affect competitiveness and 
persistence. We then evaluated general plant 
growth habits that are desirable for one or 
more mechanical harvests during the growing 
season. Growth habits give insight to the yield 
potentials, forage quality, regrowth processes, 
and their potential effects on environmental 
concerns and wildlife. Thus, most of the 
assessment effort was focused on perennials 
and how management decisions would interact 
with environmental conservation. Management 
considerations included use of chemical 
fertilizers and manures, potentials for soil 
erosion, effects on water quality, and provision 
of habitat and food supplies for wildlife. 




Chopping wilted forage for 
ensilage in Missouri. NRCS 
photo by Charlie Rahm. 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



TABLE 4.1. Purposes of the Forage Harvest Management Practice Standard and the criteria used for assessment. 
The degree of research support for the each criterion is given in the last column. 



Purpose of the Practice 
Standard 


Criteria used for assessing achievement 

of the purpose Support by research 


Optimize yield and 
quality of forage at 
the desired levels 


Harvest at frequency and height to maintain Strong support on major species, limited 
a healthy plant community as recommended on minor species or forbs used in special 
by State Extension Service situations 


Harvest forage at stage of maturity for Strong support on major species to optimize 
desired quality and quantity yield and quality 

Delay harvest if prolonged or heavy Moderate, need comparative data on rate of 
precipitation is forecast that would damage yield and quality change due to weather or to 
the cut forage later maturity 




Harvest silage/haylage crops within the Strong support for haylage and silage crops 
optimum moisture range for the storage over a range of moisture contents 
structure(s) being utilized 


Use State Extension Service Strong support for optimum content, but 
recommendations for optimum and how to methods for field measurement need research 
determine moisture content 

Treat direct cut hay crop silage (moisture Generally supported, research is variable 
content > 70%) with chemical preservatives on consistency of results achieved; cost 
or add dry feedstuffs effectiveness needs more research 


Invert swaths when moisture content is Inverting assists the drying process, but leaf 
above 40% and rake hay at 30-40% loss on some species can be high, need 
moisture to maintain hay quality research on different methods and cost 

effectiveness 


Bale field-cured hay at 15-20% moisture; Strong support, but need more research on 
bale at 20-35% moisture if it is to be dried quality losses from field drying vs. costs for 
by forced air water transport and costs for forced-air drying 


Chop ensilage to a size appropriate for Strong support for packing to exclude oxygen 
the storage structure that allows adequate and maintain anaerobic conditions 
packing 


Manage for desired 
species composition 


Harvest at the proper height and frequency Strong research on height and frequency of 
to maintain desired species composition cut can affect in short term, would be useful 

for use as an adaptive management method 

Fertilize with appropriate minerals at the Strong support for use of N, P, and K and 
correct time in the growing season timing during the season to alter the botanical 

composition 


Use forage plant 
biomass as a soil 
nutrient uptake tool 


Use a harvest regime that utilizes the Moderate support for use of forages to utilize 
maximum amount of available or targeted excess nutrients in cropping systems 
nutrients 


When desired, select species that can Variation in nutrient uptake among species 
maximize nutrient uptake is known, but balance is more critical than 

uptake of a single nutrient 

Use proper balance of nutrients such as Strong research support on N0 3 and HCN 
nitrogen to avoid toxic plant material for challenges in grasses, some research on 
animals N effects on alkaloids in some cool-season 

grasses 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



TABLE 4.1. continued. 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



Purpose of the Practice 
Standard 


Criteria used for assessing achievement 

of the purpose Support by research 


Control insects, 
diseases, and weeds 


Select harvest periods to control disease, Minimal research support except for insects on 
insect, and weed infestations alfalfa (weevils and potato leafhoppers) 

Evaluate pest management options by Strong IPM research for alfalfa insects, but 
planning conservation practice standard weak for other species, need research on loss 
Pest Management (595) economics 

Lessen incidence of disease, insect damage, Strong support for maintaining plant vigor and 
and weed infestation by managing for high competition to reduce biotic challenges 
desirable plant vigor 


Maintain or improve 
wildlife habitat 


If suitable habitat is desired for wildlife Good support for delayed harvest of first cut 
species, appropriate harvest schedules(s), for ground nesters and leaving stubble for 
cover patterns, and plant height should be winter cover and food source; most data on 
maintained to provide suitable habitat birds; raise cut height for some turtles 


Avoid harvest and other disturbances Some research indicates biomass crops will 
during nesting, fawning, and other critical be harvested late and will provide habitat in 
times summer and winter for some forms of wildlife 



Finally, we considered the purposes and 
criteria of standard Code 51 1 in terms of 
potential trade-offs in management to provide 
desired conservation and ecosystem services 
to the landowner and the public. Published 
US research literature was emphasized, but 
in some cases extension publications were 
used if based on literature and professional 
experience. In general, extension publications 
were based on sound scientific principles that 
were interpreted and adapted for state and 
regional conditions. This was expected since 
management research for local conditions is 
rarely published in national journals unless 
there is a unique feature that has regional or 
national application. Assessments of literature 
support for purposes and criteria of Code 511 
were summarized (Table 4.1). 

REGIONAL ADAPTATION OF FORAGE 
PLANTS 

Scores of annual, biennial and perennial 
species are used as forages in humid areas of 
the eastern USA (Barker et al., Chapter 2, this 
volume). Some species are native, but most are 
introduced, and many of those introduced have 
become naturalized because of their long-term 
use (West and Nelson, 2003). Our assessments 
are also affected by regions due to increases in 
precipitation from the west, near the 100th 



meridian, eastward to the Atlantic Ocean, and 
to increases in average temperature and length 
of the growing season going from the Canadian 
border to the Gulf of Mexico. These climatic 
variations form a matrix of temperature and 
precipitation that affect the forage species 
grown (see Figs. 1.1 and 1.2, Chapter 1, this 
volume), the number of times it is harvested, 
and the dominant livestock enterprises of the 
region that use the forage (Allen et al., 2007). 
Pest, pathogen, and wildlife populations 
also differ among regions to give an array of 
variables that affect adaptation of each forage 
species and its optimum harvest management 
for economic return and conservation. 

Species differ in morphology and forage 
quality that help define their management use 
for growing or milking livestock in defined 
geographic areas of adaptation (see Fig. 1.1; 
Baron and Belanger, 2007). Nearly all State 
Agricultural Experiment Stations conduct 
extensive applied research to determine the 
major species and mixtures that are best 
adapted to the specific climate and meet 
yield, quality, and persistence needs for 
major livestock enterprises of the state. Yield, 
quality, and stand longevity are emphasized to 
determine the optimal harvest management 
regimes for economic return. These 
recommendations may include more specific 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Fortunately most 
states define 
optimum harvest 
times of forage 
crops according 
to growth 
stages based on 
flowering" 



Flowering, Seed Production 
I \ 



Forage Yield 




Spring Growth Period 

FIGURE 4.1. Relative changes in forage yield, 
forage quality, and content of carbohydrate and 
nitrogen reserves during the spring growth period. 
Data are generalized from several sources for 
legumes and the spring growth of most grasses. 



management systems when the primary goal 
is yield, quality or stand persistence. Cultivars 
within a species differ in maturity seasonality 
of growth, yield potential, and quality of forage 
produced, thereby allowing some fine-tuning 
of management on a within-species basis for 
specific sites. 

Fortunately most states define optimum harvest 
times of forage crops according to growth 
stages based on flowering of a monoculture 
or flowering of the most desired species in a 
mixture. This allows neighboring states to share 
performance data based on plant development 
such that recommendations for harvest 
management tend to have some similarity 
and transferability within geographic regions. 
Unfortunately there is little research on minor- 
use species or the latest "hot introduction," 
which can lead to management decisions based 
on unreliable information, often based on 
promotional hype and testimonials. Eventually 
these factors are evaluated scientifically and 
documented in the literature, but by then there 
may be another generation of "wonder grasses" 
that needs scientific evaluation. 

GROWTH HABIT AFFECTS YIELD 
AND QUALITY 

Since there are many species to consider they 
were divided into groups based on adaptation 
to climatic regions and then to morphological 
features that favor mechanical harvests for 
conservation as hay, silage, or biomass. 



Legumes like alfalfa (scientific names for all 
species mentioned are given in Appendix 
III), red clover, and upright-growing types of 
birdsfoot trefoil have erect stems and regrow 
from the plant base, that is, the crown that 
exists at the top of the root near soil level 
(Beuselinck et al, 1994; McGraw and Nelson, 
2003). In general, these characters, especially 
upright growth, provide adaptation to repeated 
but infrequent harvest for hay or silage through 
the season. In contrast, low, prostrate growing 
legumes such as white clover and prostrate 
birdsfoot trefoil retain leaf area near the soil 
surface and are usually better adapted to 
pastures where plants may not have long rest 
periods between defoliations. 

During spring growth the yield of a grass 
or legume gradually increases and quality 
decreases through the flowering stage (Buxton 
and Casler, 1993; Nelson and Moser, 1994), 
after which plant parts senesce and yield 
gradually decreases while the forage quality 
decreases more rapidly (Fig. 4.1). Upright 
growing legumes also differ in time to maturity; 
e.g., alfalfa reaches the desired cutting stage 
earlier than red clover, which is earlier than 
upright birdsfoot trefoil. This range of maturity 
among species allows staggered harvest times, 
which also affect growth of associated plant 
species and provision of environmental services 
and biodiversity. 

Upright growing legumes have morphological 
development during each regrowth similar to 
that during spring growth. Thus, in general, 
early spring harvest and shorter durations 
between subsequent harvests reduce yield 
but increase forage quality (Kallenbach et 
al., 2002). The actual relationships between 
increase in yield and decrease in quality of 
alfalfa differ for each harvest depending on 
environmental factors (Brink et al., 2010). In 
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin the daily rate of 
decrease in alfalfa quality was greater during the 
spring growth and first regrowth periods than 
during later regrowths. Thus, in the eastern 
USA the timing of harvest for alfalfa and other 
legumes is most sensitive during the early 
growth periods of the growing season. 

Summer annual legumes including common 
lespedeza and soybean are also used in hayfields 
(Sollenberger and Collins, 2003). In southern 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



latitudes summer annual legumes such as 
smooth-seeded wild bean (Butler and Muir, 
2010), and soybean, cowpea and pigeon pea 
(Foster et al., 2009; Rao and Northup, 2009) 
show potential. In the south, winter annual 
legumes can be planted into warm-season 
perennial grasses in autumn to extend the 
grazing season or to be harvested for hay in 
spring (Muir et al., 2007; Hancock et al., 
201 1). The legumes provide environmental and 
ecosystem value by providing winter cover and 
fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Some produce a 
seed bank for reseeding (Muir et al., 2005) and 
food for wildlife. 

Legumes such as sweetclover and some other 
forbs are biennials that germinate in spring, 
grow through the summer, and overwinter to 
produce spring growth that can be harvested. 
Most will produce some regrowth after cutting 
then die. Nonlegume forbs in hayfields are 
usually managed as opportunists and are 
beneficial to wildlife, but often are low yielding 
and not valued highly for preserved forage. 
More assessments are needed on the overall 
benefits from these forbs. 

Perennial grasses differ markedly in growth 
responses to temperature and are usually 
divided into cool-season and warm-season 



species based on their photosynthetic system 
and optimum temperatures for growth 
(Table 4.2; MacAdam and Nelson, 2003). 
Photosynthetic rates of warm-season grasses 
are as much as 50% higher than cool-season 
grasses, and this is reflected in faster growth 
rates, especially at high temperatures. All 
legumes have a photosynthetic system that 
is similar to cool-season grasses, but they 
exhibit greater concentrations of protein and 
most minerals. Many legumes, such as red 
clover, have temperature optima similar to 
cool-season grasses, but others, such as alfalfa, 
perennial peanut and lespedezas, have growth 
temperature optima that are intermediate 
between cool- and warm-season grasses. 

Similar to legumes, most cool-season grasses 
harvested for hay or silage, like orchardgrass, 
tall fescue, smooth bromegrass, reed canarygrass 
and timothy, are upright growing and adapted 
to repeated but not frequent mechanical 
harvests. Except for timothy these grasses flower 
only one time in spring with optimum trade- 
off between forage yield and quality occurring 
between inflorescence emergence and anthesis 
(Fig. 4.1). Also, optimum dates differ among 
species to allow spread of harvest dates; for 
example, orchardgrass is several days earlier in 
maturity than is tall fescue, followed in order 



u 



All legumes have 

a photosynthetic 

system that 

is similar to 

cool-season 

grasses, but they 

exhibit greater 

concentrations of 

protein and most 

minerals." 



TABLE 4.2. Perennial grasses can be classified as warm-season or cool-season based on their photosynthet- 
ic process. The C 4 photosynthetic system is more efficient in light use than the C 3 system and is associated 
with high production and other characteristics. Adapted from several sources. 





Cool season 


Warm season 


Photosynthetic process, first product 


c 3 


c 4 


Photosynthetic rate, g C0 2 nrr 2 leaf area h - ' 


2.0-3.0 


>3.5 


Light saturation, % of full sun 


50-60% 


>100% 


N content of young leaves, % of dry wt 


2.5-4.0% 


1 .5-2.5% 


Water use efficiency, g dry wt g water used" 1 


Low 


High 


Optimum temperature range, °C 


1 8-27°C 


30-40°C 


Daily growth rate, kg day 1 


Medium 


High 


Major representative species 


Smooth bromegrass 


Bahiagrass 


Kentucky bluegrass 


Bermudagrass 


Orchardgrass 


Big bluestem 


Reed canarygrass 


Caucasian bluestem 


Tall fescue 


Indiangrass 


Timothy 


Switchgrass 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Switch grass, 
big bluestem, 
and indiangrass 
are tall, upright 
growing grasses 
that are the main 
native warm- 
season perennials 
suitable for 
conserving forage 
as hay." 



by perennial ryegrass, smooth bromegrass, and 
timothy (Balasko and Nelson, 2003). Further, 
late cultivars within a species matured 4, 8, 9, 
and 14 d later than did early cultivars for tall 
fescue, orchardgrass, timothy, and ryegrass, 
respectively (Hall et al., 2009), providing 
another way to obtain a range of first harvest 
dates. 

Regrowths of most cool-season grasses consist 
mainly of leaves causing forage quality to 
decline at a slow rate (Brink et al., 2010). Hay 
made from leafy regrowth of grasses, especially 
orchardgrass, is prized for certain niche uses 
such as for young dairy calves, horses, and 
perhaps sheep, in part because it dries rapidly, 
is unlikely to mold if managed properly, and 
is very soft in texture. In most cases, however, 
the leafy regrowths of grass stands are grazed 
instead of being harvested mechanically. 

Switchgrass, big bluestem, and indiangrass are 
tall, upright growing grasses that are the main 
native warm-season perennials suitable for 
conserving forage as hay. Optimum time of 
harvest for these grasses is later in the season 
than cool-season species in the same area, 
which again allows spread in harvest dates. 
Switchgrass is generally 4 or more wk earlier 
in maturity than big bluestem (Fig. 4.2), 
which is 2 to 3 wk earlier than indiangrass. 
These upright growing warm-season grasses, 
including some old world bluestems, have 
stiff stems that provide good habitat for 
wildlife, even during winter, and serve well as 
grass barriers for riparian areas (Karlen et al, 
2007). These warm-season grasses are better 
adapted to drought and cold winters and grow 
much taller than bermudagrass, bahiagrass, or 
Caucasian bluestem. The latter three grasses are 
introduced warm-season perennials that exhibit 
considerable prostrate growth and can be 
grazed or cut and preserved as hay. Napiergrass 
is a tall, upright warm-season grass that is 
adapted to subtropical areas. 

Summer annuals (e.g., oat, corn, and pearl 
millet) or winter annuals (e.g., wheat, rye, or 
triticale) can be harvested for forage (Moser and 
Nelson, 2003). Annual grain crops decrease 
in forage quality as they grow until flowering 
but, in contrast to perennial forage grasses, 
may increase again in quality as the grain 
develops. True annuals are usually harvested 



only one time, near anthesis, because of poor 
regrowth. Forage sorghums are perennials that 
have some regrowth after cutting, but they lack 
cold hardiness and are managed like annuals 
throughout most of the USA. Annual forages 
were not reviewed in detail for our analysis 
of conservation benefits because many of the 
environmental and ecosystem relationships are 
similar to those resulting from grain harvest 
(Schnepf and Cox, 2006). 

In summary, forage stands for hay or silage 
harvest consist mainly of upright growing 
plants with emphasis on the first cuttings, 
which have the highest potential for yield and 
quality. The yield of regrowths is usually lower 
and has a slower rate of decrease in quality, and 
the forage value is less sensitive to timing of 
harvest. Thus, most landowners are less flexible 
for adopting conservation practices that would 
lower economic return during the first harvest 
compared with later harvests. Unfortunately, 
most water management and erosion challenges 
from short stubble occur during the high 
rainfall period that also coincides with the 
dominant time of bird nesting and fledgling. 
As described there are alternative species that 
match with earlier or later harvests. And height 
of cut will also affect the amount of vegetation 
remaining for water management and certain 
wildlife. These details are considered in the 
analysis. 

HARVEST MANAGEMENT FOR STAND 
PERSISTENCE 

Delayed harvest usually allows more 
carbohydrate and nitrogen storage in roots of 
upright-growing legumes or in the lower plant 
parts of grasses, which can be used to support 
regrowth vigor and persistence (MacAdam 
and Nelson, 2003). Vigorous plants are more 
competitive with weeds and other species 
resulting in better plant persistence, especially 
the proportion of desirable legume plants 
within mixed swards. Depending on livestock 
requirements, or for nonlivestock purposes, 
harvest management requires compromises 
to produce the largest quantity of a quality 
product for the desired number of years. 

Strategies for plant persistence of perennial 
legumes are based on whether they are crown 
formers using a single taproot (e.g., alfalfa) 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



TABLE 4.3. Legumes differ in their persistence strategies depending on whether they are crown formers that retain 
the original root or if they are clone formers that spread laterally by stolons or rhizomes and take root. Annuals, 
biennials, and short-lived perennials must reseed naturally or have seed applied at a regular interval. Adapted from 
Beuselincketal. (1994). 



Species name 


Persistence strategy 






Life cycle 




Crown former Clone former 


Reseeder 


Annual 


Perennial 


Biennial 


Alfalfa 


X 






X 


Arrowleaf clover 






X 


X 






Barrel medic 






X 


X 




Berseem clover 






X 


X 




Big trefoil 


X 


X 




X 




Birdsfoot trefoil 


X 


X 




X 




Black medic 






X 


X 






Burr medic 






X 


X 






Cicer milkvetch 


X X 






X 




Common lespedeza 






X 


X 






Crimson clover 






X 


X 






Crownvetch 




X 






X 




Hairy vetch 






X 


X 






Korean lespedeza 






X 


X 






Kura clover 




X 






X 




Leucaena 


X 








X 




Persian clover 






X 


X 




Red clover 


X 


X 




X 




Rose clover 






X 


X 






Sanfoin 


X 




X 


Sericea lespedeza 


X 


X 




X 




Subterranean clover 






X 


X 






Sweetclover (white) 


X 


X 


X 


Sweetclover (yellow) 


X 


X 


X 


White clover 


x 


X 


X 





or clone formers that can form new plants 
by spreading laterally using stolons (e.g., 
white clover) or rhizomes (e.g., crown vetch; 
see Table 4.3). Crown formers depend on 
longevity of individual plants and rarely reseed 
(Fig. 4.3). Clone formers must have a low 
canopy density at certain times to allow light 
penetration to stimulate shoot development 
from stolons and rhizomes, but this also allows 
annual weeds to invade. In addition, canopy 
density has to be extensive enough during 



summer to shade the soil to maintain low soil 
temperatures and restrict germination and 
development of annual weeds. 

Plant persistence of alfalfa in Missouri was 
reduced by frequent harvest since plants were 
weakened and died allowing weeds to invade 
the stand (Kallenbach et al., 2002). There was 
little difference in persistence among cultivars. 
In Kentucky new alfalfa cultivars differed 
only slightly in yield and persistence under a 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Most managers 
want to reduce 
risk of winter 
kill of legumes, 
which can result 
in complete loss 
of a stand." 



Switchgrass 



Early 
jointing 



First growth. 



Big blue 5 tem 



First growth 




FIGURE 4.2. Switchgrass in Nebraska goes through 
various growth stages earlier in the season than 
does big bluestem. Harvest at earlier stages of 
maturity of both species increases duration and 
amount of regrowth. Adapted from Mitchell et al. 
(1994). 



range of harvest frequencies, but all cultivars 
were best when cut at early bloom and 35-d 
intervals compared to intervals of 25, 30, or 40 
d (Probst and Smith, 201 1). Lodging occurred 
more frequently at the 40-d interval. Many 
dairy farmers elect to harvest alfalfa more 
frequently, before blooms appear, knowing 
stand life will be reduced which is compatible 
when grown in rotation with row crops. 

Most managers want to reduce risk of winter 
kill of legumes, which can result in complete 
loss of a stand. Thus, management strategies 
have been researched to ensure the plants in 
northern areas have 4 to 6 wk of growth in 
autumn to become winter hardy (Volenec and 
Nelson, 2003). In most areas it is critical to 
provide a canopy through winter to reduce 
soil freezing and thawing that causes heaving 
and death of plants (Fig. AA). Research in 
Missouri indicates alfalfa yield in late fall 
is low and rarely economic to harvest, even 
when plants are cut infrequently during the 
season (Kallenbach et al., 2005). In southern 
areas perennial legume plants are managed 
carefully during summer to ensure the plants 
are not cut or grazed too closely. High soil 
temperatures can weaken plants to be less 
competitive with weeds and less tolerant of 



insect damage and diseases. Perennial grasses 
are less sensitive to fall management than are 
upright legumes. 

Reseeding is not common with upright- 
growing legumes because plants are harvested 
before seed development occurs with the 
result that stand persistence depends mainly 
on individual plant persistence (Fig. 4.3). If 
encouraged to reseed naturally, harvest must be 
delayed to allow seed to be produced, dropped 
to the soil, have adequate seed-soil contact, and 
be able to germinate at the proper time. When 
germinated, the seedlings need to emerge with 
minimal competition from species already 
present, whether they are desirable or weedlike 
(Barker et al., Chapter 2, this volume). Alfalfa 
plants are unique in that autotoxic compounds 
released to the soil inhibit germination and root 
growth of alfalfa seedlings for 6 mo or more 
(Jennings and Nelson, 2002). 

Stand persistence of annual legumes like 
striate lespedeza (Davis et al., 1994) or several 
winter annual legumes (Muir et al., 2005) 
depend on natural reseeding. Needs for 
reseeding also occur with biennials and short- 
lived perennials like red clover and birdsfoot 
trefoil that succumb to diseases (Beuselinck 
et al., 1994). Plants need to be managed 
to produce seed naturally, which works for 
birdsfoot trefoil and lespedeza (Redfearn and 



1.00 
0.75 
0.50 
0.25 



CD CD 

tj > 

o ■- 

a. ° 
<D -a 

or o) 



0.00 



1 Annual lespedeza 
TSub clover 








\t 

y» White clover 








\ T Birdsfoot trefoi 






\~* — *" 


M 


nirm 


1 strategies 


Sweet clover (biennial) 
Red clover 


Alfalfa 
1- » 


Y= 1.0 
Sericea 
lespedeza 

*>-. . — p- 



2 4 6 8 

Typical Plant Longevity, Years 



10 



FIGURE 4.3. Annual legumes maintain the stand by 
reseeding themselves whereas long-lived perennials 
maintain the stand by plant longevity. Perennial 
plants differ in their reproductive capacity from 
seed or vegetative spread to form new plants. The 
solid line (X x Y = I .0] is the minimal capacity 
from each process needed to maintain the stand 
indefinitely. Arrows associated with each data point 
indicate how management can alter the longevity 
or reproductive capacity. Adapted from Beuselinck 
etal. (1994). 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 




Nelson, 2003). Red clover is well known for 
its good seedling vigor (Gist and Mott, 1958), 
but managing for seed production and natural 
reseeding has not been consistently reliable. 
Instead it is reseeded regularly, usually in 
late winter, and the existing canopy needs to 
be controlled (Barker et al., Chapter 2, this 
volume). In addition, proper fertilization 
regimes are critical to stimulate vigor of 
seedlings and not the competing canopy. 

Aside from crabgrass, few annual forage grasses 
are used for hay or silage, and there are no 
important biennial grasses, so emphasis is 
usually on perennials. Perennial grasses also 
can be classified as bunch formers or sod 
formers. Bunch formers such as big bluestem 
and orchardgrass are somewhat similar to 
crown-forming legumes in that the lateral buds 
near the soil level develop into upright tillers 
that contribute limited lateral growth (Moser 
and Nelson, 2003). This usually leaves open 
areas of soil between plants. Other grasses 



such as smooth bromegrass, reed canarygrass, 
bahiagrass, and bermudagrass are sod formers 
that spread by lateral tillers, rhizomes, or 
stolons to fill in open spaces. Compared with 
upright bunch grasses, sod formers have smaller 
tillers, thinner stems, more leaf area near the 
soil surface, and are more tolerant of frequent 
cutting to short stubble heights. Tall fescue 
produces short rhizomes and is flexible; it is 
bunchy when cut infrequently and sod forming 
when cut or grazed frequently. 

Grass plants cut during reproductive 
growth of the first harvest depend on 
carbohydrate and nitrogen reserves stored in 
the plant for vigorous regrowth (Fig. 4.1). 
Vegetative regrowths of cool-season grasses 
during summer and fall depend largely on 
photosynthesis from residual leaf area. As 
described above, associated legumes tend to 
repeat the canopy shape and flower in each 
growth period, whereas the dramatic shift in 
grass morphology changes the competitiveness 



Grassland specialist discusses 
pasture condition with farmer 
in Missouri. NRCS photo by 
Charlie Rahm. 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Some managers 
emphasize 
grazing as the 
preferred harvest 
method but still 
use a single 
mechanical 
harvest for hay or 
silage as a tool to 
prepare hayfields 
or pasture areas 
for grazing." 




FIGURE 4.4. Alfalfa plants lifted from the soil by 
freezing and thawing of the surface soil in Iowa. 
The root is broken, and the plants will be weak and 
die. Photo courtesy of Steve Barnhart. 



Northern Latitude Grasses 



Cool-season 
(smooth 

bromegrass, and 
orchardgrass) 



Summer 
annual 

legume 



_L 



_L 




Warm-season 
(big bluestem. 
indiangrass, and 
switchgrass) 



Summer-Annual Legumes 



Germination 



Seed prod. 




Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
Month 

FIGURE 4.5. Annual growth curves for perennial 
cool-season grasses (top) and annual warm- 
season legumes (bottom). Cool-season grasses 
have reproductive growth during spring followed 
by vegetative growth for the rest of the year. 
Summer-annual legumes germinate in spring when 
competition is low and produce seed in autumn. 



of the canopy. This difference in canopy 
structure during regrowths needs to be 
understood to effectively manage fertilization 
and cutting management of forage mixtures 
to maintain desired proportions of grasses and 
legumes (Fig. 4.5). In contrast with cool-season 
grasses, introduced warm-season perennial 
grasses (e.g., bermudagrass and bahiagrass) 
tend to flower repeatedly during summer, so 
production is not as cyclical (Fig. 4.6). The 
grasses regrow from buds that are supported by 
current photosynthesis of residual leaf area and 
some carbohydrate stored in stem bases. 



REASONS FOR FORAGE HARVEST 

Some managers emphasize grazing as the 
preferred harvest method but still use a single 
mechanical harvest for hay or silage as a tool to 
prepare hay fields or pasture areas for grazing. 
In this case, timing of the single harvest, being 
early or late, and proper height of cutting are 
based on stimulating vigorous regrowth for 
pasture. Seed harvest of cool-season grasses is 
another option that occurs very late when stems 
are mature and provides nonforage income 
and prepares the stand for grazing. In this case, 
residual herbage after seed harvest that consists 
of basal parts of stems and old leaves should be 
harvested, packaged, and stored as low-quality 
forage. Removing residue after seed harvest 
opens the canopy to stimulate new tillers and 
regrowth, which shortens the time needed 
before leafy regrowth can be grazed later during 
summer or accumulated for autumn or winter 
grazing (Sollenberger et al., Chapter 3, this 
volume). 

Since the spring growth period is usually the 
most productive, especially with cool-season 
grasses, it is the most desired stage for hay or 
silage production. Under these circumstances, 
other animals are needed or selected pastures 
of the forage area on a farm may be harvested 
once while other areas are grazed during spring. 
Then, during summer and fall when growth 
is slower, the entire area is grazed, either 
continuously or rotationally (Sollenberger et 
al., Chapter 3, this volume). This allows the 
manger to "rotate" the areas cut for hay or 
silage such that any one area is mechanically 
harvested about 1 yr in 3. Fertilizer timing and 
allowing plants to grow to near maturity for 
mechanical harvest are adaptive management 
practices that can revitalize the stand by 
reducing weed problems, altering insect cycles, 
reducing disease pressures, and restoring a 
better balance of legumes and grasses in the 
mixture. It may also be more wildlife friendly. 

SUMMARY 

The Practice Code requires conservation 
practices be a part of the total management 
strategy for hay and silage crops. Most 
conservation practices include reducing soil 
erosion, maintaining water quality of runoff 
or flow through, and providing wildlife food 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



supplies and habitat that all depend largely 
on maintaining groundcover. Achieving the 
multiple objectives of yield, quality, and 
species composition while controlling insects, 
diseases, and weeds, being an effective nutrient 
uptake tool, and maintaining or improving 
wildlife habitat will require compromises in 
management. How that is achieved will depend 
on balancing priorities and incentives. 

As pointed out above, most forage species 
used for hay or silage are upright growing 
grasses and legumes that can be grown in 
monoculture, especially alfalfa, or in legume- 
grass mixtures. For the latter the maturities 
need to be matched so components are 
compatible when harvested at appropriate 
times. Harvest management and species 
selection also affect winter ground cover, 
rate of regrowth after harvest to reestablish 
adequate ground cover, appropriate cutting 
heights, and optimal timing of fertilizer 
or manure applications. Fortunately there 
is flexibility among options like species 
selection, harvest stages, cutting heights, 
cutting frequency, and potentials for providing 
ground cover throughout the year. The 
literature review is focused on achieving the 
multiple purposes and criteria described in the 
Conservation Practice Code 511 (Table 4.1). 

THE CEAP ASSESSMENT OF FORAGE 
HARVEST MANAGEMENT 

To determine if prescribed practices are 
effective in meeting the purposes, a series 
of questions were framed to focus on each 
purpose (Table 4.1). Then US scientific 
literature, especially peer-reviewed literature, 
was reviewed to determine if the practice, in 
fact, did provide the production goals, desired 
ecosystem services, or both. As discussed above, 
general principles of harvest management have 
been researched by scientists at Agricultural 
Experiment Stations within each state to 
know when forages can be harvested to obtain 
maximum economic return to the producer. 
But the standard also has primary challenges 
of evaluating if and how forages could be 
managed more flexibly to obtain forage 
yield and quality at some acceptable level, 
while promoting vigorous plant regrowth, 
maintaining stand life, and providing desired 
ecosystem services. 



Special attention was given to whether the 
prescribed practice maintains desired species 
composition over time, whether biomass 
produced is effective in soil nutrient uptake, 
and if management can be flexible enough to 
help control insects, diseases, and weeds while 
maintaining and/or improving the environment 
and biodiversity of wildlife. This approach by 
purposes helped organize the assessment for 
each criterion, after which an overall assessment 
of research support was made and deficiencies 
noted in Table 4.1. 

PURPOSE 1 : OPTIMIZE YIELD AND 
QUALITY AT DESIRED LEVELS 

With increasing costs of concentrate feed 
supplements there is more emphasis on high 
protein and generally higher quality forage to 
help offset concentrate use for dairy and beef 
production. This emphasis can affect species 
selection, as well as harvest time and frequency. 
Mixed grass-legume stands are more likely to 
provide higher quality forage than pure grass 
stands (Merry et al., 2000). Increased desire for 
higher quality forage often results in harvesting 
more frequently, which may reduce stand life 
and potential benefits for wildlife. 

Harvest Time and Frequency 

Land-grant universities and other agencies 
in the eastern USA have done a good job of 



u 




Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 

Month 

FIGURE 4.6. Warm-season grasses like 
bermudagrass have an extended period of high 
production that slows as days get shorter and 
cooler in autumn. Winter annual legumes provide 
additional forage and N fixation. Adapted from 
Bueselincketal. (1994). 



desire for higher 

quality forage 

often results in 

harvesting more 

frequently, which 

may reduce stand 

life and potential 

benefits for 

wildlife." 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Overall, State 
Experiment 
Stations and 
Cooperative 
Extension 
Services have 
effectively 
provided 
adaptation 
and sound 
management 
recommendations 
for the major 
species and 
cultivars grown in 
their area." 



researching harvest management for major 
species grown in various geographic areas. 
Emphasis, however, has usually been on 
monocultures or legume-grass mixtures with 
goals of optimizing economic return to the 
producer in terms of yield, quality, and stand 
persistence. For example, recommended 
management of alfalfa for North Dakota 
focuses on winter hardy cultivars and good fall 
cutting management to allow development of 
winter hardiness. Cultivars with high winter 
dormancy (Group 2) are recommended, and 
stands are harvested two or three times at early 
bloom stages before 25 August (Meyer and 
Helm, 1994). Yields are similar, but quality is 
higher with three cuts. Another cutting can be 
made after plants stop growing in October, but 
strips should be left uncut to catch snow for 
insulation to reduce winter kill. 

In Iowa, with a longer growing season and less 
severe winters, moderately dormant cultivars of 
alfalfa (Group 4) are recommended. They can 
be cut four times at early flowering with the last 
cutting by 1 September (Smith, 2008). Winter 
damage was increased when final cutting was 
delayed from mid-September to mid-October, 
and yield of first cutting the following year was 
reduced by 1.4 Mg ha" 1 . Removing late growth 
(cut 5) is cautioned on poorly drained soils 
since the standing regrowth provides insulation 
against cold and reduces freezing and thawing 
of the surface soil that may lead to frost heaving 
of plants (Fig. AA). In Kentucky, Group 5 
alfalfa is adapted, and the crop is cut five times 
at early bloom. A late harvest or a late fall 
grazing is acceptable after growth has stopped. 
With milder winters the importance of fall 
management is lessened. 

In general first cutting of alfalfa should 
be made at early bloom stage, but high 
temperatures are known to hasten maturity 
and flowering, so intervals between harvests 
are longer at northern locations. All states 
recommend cultivars with appropriate winter 
dormancy rating and prescribe P and K 
applications to improve persistence and yield. 
There is more emphasis on insects and diseases 
at southern locations. In all cases, management 
recommendations are based on the same basic 
principles that have been adapted for the 
environment, soil conditions, and length of 
growing season using local research. 



These basic observations on management 
changes based on latitude are consistent for all 
major species of legumes and grasses. In general, 
plant adaptation principles can be transferred 
longitudinally more easily than across latitudes. 
Thus, similar to hardiness groups of alfalfa, 
different ecotypes of most perennial grasses 
have become naturalized over time for specific 
latitudes, especially native warm-season grasses. 
Cultivar differences within species of cool- 
season grasses allow adaptation across broader 
latitudes than do cultivar differences for many 
legumes (Baron and Belanger, 2007; Hall et 
al, 2009). Alfalfa is a marked exception since 
cultivar differences in fall dormancy and winter 
hardiness allow adaption in nearly all areas of 
the USA from California to Maine and from 
Florida to Alaska. 

Loosely defined areas of geographic adaptation 
hold for other legume and grass species (Barnes 
et al., 2003; Hannaway et al., 2005). Good data 
are available for most species showing forage 
quality at harvest is inversely related to growing 
temperature. High temperatures are associated 
with lower concentrations of easily digested 
sugars in leaves and stems, a shift toward more 
cell wall and lignin formation, and a tendency 
to have smaller and shorter leaf blades (Buxton 
and Casler, 1993; Nelson and Moser, 1994). 
Thus, on average, quality of forage at the same 
growth stage is higher in northern locations 
than in southern locations (Matches et al., 
1970). There is considerable indirect evidence 
that plant persistence is related more closely to 
winter temperatures in the north and to disease 
and weed pressures in the south. Overall, State 
Experiment Stations and Cooperative Extension 
Services have effectively provided adaptation and 
sound management recommendations for the 
major species and cultivars grown in their area. 

A major contribution of USDA-ARS to 
geographic adaptation has been the revised 
Plant Hardiness Map (Fig. 4.7) that is based on 
average minimum winter temperature and is 
interactive with GPS and other tools to assist in 
determining adaptation of species to geographic 
areas. The revised map has a stronger base than 
the 1990 version, and zone boundaries in the 
map have shifted in many areas. The new map 
is generally one half-zone warmer than the 
previous map throughout much of the USA, as 
a result of a longer and more recent averaging 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



period (1976-2005). Some changes in zones 
are due to use of new, more sophisticated 
mapping methods and a greater number of 
observation stations. Thus, the revised map 
has greatly improved accuracy, especially in 
mountainous regions. Because of the way the 
map is constructed, using data for only 30 yr, 
it is not an indicator of global change which 
requires longer durations. Nevertheless, it 
provides an updated and interactive tool that 
could have value for species selection and 
management in various areas of the USA. 

The hardiness map is used diligently by 
scientists and others in the horticultural 
community, yet is rarely mentioned in forage 
management literature (Baron and Belanger, 
2007). Instead, ecoregions for adaptation of 
grasslands and forage species are usually focused 
on energy balance (Gates, 1980), growing 
degree days (Hall et al., 2009), precipitation 
balance including evaporation (Bailey, 1996), 
and soil and climate effects (Hannaway et 
al., 2005). These adaptation regions are 
less familiar with the forage and grassland 
community than the hardiness map is with 
horticulturalists. Seemingly the Plant Hardiness 
Zone Map could be made more practical for 
forage and pasture applications if upgraded to 
include some aspect of precipitation efficiency 
and/or perhaps soil issues like erosion potential. 
This approach and understanding will become 
more critical for adaptation as climate change 
occurs, which will lead to greater public 
concern about conservation and sustainability. 

Further, more research information is needed 
on minor forage species or those species, 
including forbs, that may have potential as 
forage crops in an area. The USDA-ARS Plant 
Introduction Stations, especially the North 
Central Regional Plant Introduction Station in 
Ames, Iowa, and the Western Regional Plant 
Introduction Station in Pullman, Washington, 
play significant roles in evaluation of introduced 
legumes and cool-season grasses. Each site has 
primary responsibility for appropriate genera 
to acquire and evaluate new plant germplasm 
and to establish a maintenance program. These 
stations play significant roles in assessing areas 
of potential adaptation of introduced species 
for forage and assist with initial seed supplies of 
adapted species that may fit niche areas or have 
values that go beyond forage production. 




FIGURE 4.7. The 201 2 version of the USDA Plant Hardiness Map shows revision 
of the adaptation zones over previous maps due to a stronger database. Note 
temperature isolines are generally oriented east-west except near water bodies. Zone 
1 is down to - 1 °C, Zone 8 is down to - 1 2°C, Zone 6 is down to -23°C, Zone 
4 is down to -34°C, and Zone 2 is down to -46°C. Image courtesy of USDA. 






".I ?. 

OH ■ 



CA 



ftMtop 

.MI 



10- 



.1 ,;.. 




• 






' A' »CapeKiay Ut 

' % !'■ ■ . - '.>:■ 
BZNuatmCMK 



. AR' 



* 



He ?iehyj| 

M 



i ■ 

Tucwn. MM 

AZ ♦ 



PilfTWf 



_ 



Kr>:i^ C-ly 

TK 



CoflHMpi Amman , 
MS ,<y, 



TX 



TX. 



EM? vi 



FIGURE 4.8. Locations of the 27 USDA-NRCS Plant Material Centers that evaluate 
new plants for adaptation and basic management principles for conservation 
purposes. Centers also provide seed to commercial seed growers who increase the 
supply for use by landowners, image courtesy of USDA-NRCS. 



In addition, USDA-NRCS maintains a 
network of 27 regional Plant Materials Centers 
that help meet the growing interest in use of 
native plants and some introductions, especially 
those unique plants that may help solve 
conservation problems (Fig. 4.8). The centers 
locate and evaluate plants for conservation 
traits and make these materials available 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Cost-effective 
solutions for 
conservation 
objectives require 
coordinated 
approaches that 
involve NRCS, 
other federal and 
state government 
agencies, 
agricultural 
experiment 
stations, 
cooperative 
extension service, 
private groups, 
and individuals." 



to commercial growers who provide plant 
materials to the public. Evaluations involve 
some research and result in application-oriented 
technology for the region including technical 
publications, fact sheets, identification, and 
release of conservation plants for further 
research and land restoration. The Centers 
have released over 600 grasses, legumes, forbs, 
shrubs, and trees for conservation purposes. 

It is clear that plants offer versatility and a 
cost-effective tool for long-term protection and 
improvement of the environment. It would 
be helpful to the total effort if there was more 
applied research to determine best management 
practices for these new conservation plants. 
Cost-effective solutions for conservation 
objectives require coordinated approaches 
that involve NRCS, other federal and state 
government agencies, agricultural experiment 
stations, cooperative extension service, private 
groups, and individuals. As conservation issues 
and ecosystem services increase in importance, 
there will be even greater needs for education 
and evaluation of management options to 
maintain credibility and meet the growing 
demand. 

Cooperative extension, NRCS field staff, and 
private organizations have direct connection 
to provide timely and appropriate information 
to landowners, managers, and the public 
about conservation issues. In addition, Plant 
Materials Centers provide vital plant data to 
support decision-making tools such as the 
Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE 
2), Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS), 
and Grazingland Spatial Analysis Tool (GSAT). 
These tools are used in NRCS field offices to 
assist landowners conserve the nations natural 
resources. It is critical that effective linkages 
among the key players are maintained so 
messages transferred are consistent and based 
on available research. 

Harvest Intervals and Stubble Height 

Considerable literature documents how 
general principles of growth, regrowth, cutting 
frequency, residual leaf area, and reserves of 
carbohydrate and nitrogen affect regrowth of 
most major forage species (Fig. 4.1; MacAdam 
and Nelson, 2003). Implications from water 
stress (leaf growth is reduced more than root 
growth), inundation (roots are deprived of 



oxygen), temperature stresses (too cold or too 
hot affects metabolic processes and growth), 
and fertilization regimes (nitrogen usually 
stimulates growth of grasses at the expense 
of reserve storage and reduces N fixation by 
legumes) on regrowth have been well developed 
for the major species. And these basic principles 
can be applied directly to their management. 
In addition, understanding local soils and 
climates helps determine the best management 
to be used. Local knowledge can be based on 
field demonstrations, especially those not novel 
enough to be published in refereed journals, or 
on broad experience of professionals. 

Basic principles of forage management 
have been assembled into good extension 
publications that are based on published 
science and observations. For example, 
Rayburn (1993), in West Virginia, discusses 
growth and development of cool-season grasses 
and legumes to explain how these processes 
can be managed to optimize production and 
utilization. He emphasizes allowing reserves 
to be restored during spring growth before 
harvesting alfalfa, red clover, orchardgrass, 
and tall fescue for hay or silage. At this stage 
the yield advantage occurs by leaving a short 
stubble (5 to 8 cm), and regrowth is rapid. 
But quality of forage may be lower as cutting 
height is reduced since the lower canopy is 
mainly stem. Subsequent regrowths of alfalfa 
or red clover can be cut infrequently to leave 
a short stubble because they are able to restore 
reserves and depend very little on leaf area. This 
knowledge was further supported in research- 
based extension recommendations for stubble 
height of alfalfa in Wisconsin (Wiersma et al., 
2007). 

In contrast with alfalfa and red clover, cool- 
season grasses shift in growth habit after 
first cutting. Vegetative regrowths in West 
Virginia should have about 10 cm of stubble to 
ensure adequate leaf area to support regrowth 
(Rayburn, 1993). This recommendation is 
consistent with extension recommendations 
from Minnesota (Peterson and Thomas, 2008) 
in which they suggest grasses cut infrequently, 
especially during summer, should retain a 
stubble height of about 10 cm. In addition 
to providing sufficient leaf area to support 
regrowth, they emphasize the value of leaf 
area for shading to reduce soil temperatures, 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 




reduce soil moisture evaporation, and provide 
competition with weed seedlings. 

Peterson and Thomas (2008) gave further 
guidance on how cutting height could be used 
to maintain desired alfalfa-grass proportions in 
hay fields by leaving shorter stubble in summer 
to favor the legume or a longer stubble to favor 
grass. Further, they ranked grasses according 
to sensitivity to leave 3.5-cm of stubble 
compared with 10 cm citing research data from 
Wisconsin. Smooth bromegrass and timothy 
were more sensitive to close cutting than were 
orchardgrass, reed canarygrass, and tall fescue. 
The effect of increasing stubble height on 
forage quality of both alfalfa and grasses has 
been found to be minimal (Parsons et al., 2009; 
Parsons et al. 201 1). In Georgia tall fescue 
that was endophyte infected was not affected 
by cutting at 3-wk intervals at 3.8 cm or 7.6 
cm. But yields of the same cultivars without 
endophyte were about 25% lower when cut at 
3.8 cm (Hoveland et al., 1997). It is clear that 
extension specialists are aware of research in 



surrounding areas and can effectively apply the 
principles to the local condition. For example, 
use of disc mowers and short cutting heights 
can shift bermudagrass-tall fescue mixtures 
rather quickly to a bermudagrass monoculture. 

Leaving a tall stubble height is generally 
considered to be more important for upright- 
growing warm-season grasses than for 
cool-season grasses, especially with frequent 
defoliation (Anderson and Matches, 1983). 
Responses to stubble height and frequency 
of cutting have been well documented for 
most upright warm-season grass species, 
and information is available in extension 
publications. But there is a shortage of 
emphasis on how environments affect responses 
and delivery of ecosystem services. For 
example, proper cutting height and frequency 
are critical for maintenance of native warm- 
season grasses in dryer areas of the eastern 
Great Plains (Owensby et al., 1974; Mitchell 
et al, 1994) and for bermudagrass in warmer 
areas of the South (Ethredge et al., 1973). But 



Grassed waterway is part of 
the conservation plan in Iowa. 
NRCS photo by Lynn Betts. 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



Conservationist teaching 
landowners about grasses for 
buffer strips. NRCS photo by 
Bob Nichols. 



there is evidence from eastern states that these 
native warm-season grasses can tolerate closer 
and more frequent cutting in cooler areas with 
more rainfall (e.g., Forwood and Magai, 1992). 
Thus, similar to other studies with a range 
of forage plants (Balasko and Nelson, 2003; 
McGraw and Nelson, 2003; Redfearn and 
Nelson, 2003; Sollenberger and Collins, 2003), 
plants grown in lower stress environments, due 
to either biotic or abiotic challenges, are better 
able to tolerate close and frequent harvest. 

Moisture Management for Curing 
and Storing 

A major goal of forage and silage management 
is to harvest when the crop is at the optimum 
stage for economic return, but this goal is 
further affected by need to preserve as much 
yield and quality as possible during drying, 
packaging, and storage periods. Rapid drying 
is the most important factor to achieve proper 
moisture content for storage with least loss in 
dry matter, especially leaves. Standing forage 
is typically 75-85% moisture and needs to be 
dried quickly to less than 70% moisture for 
silage, 50-60% for haylage, and about 20% for 
baling as hay (Rotz and Muck, 1994). 

About 25-30% of the total water from stems 
and leaves is lost rapidly through stomata 




for the first hr after cutting; after this time 
stomata close as plants wilt. Loss of remaining 
water through waxy layers on the stem and 
leaves is hastened if stems are crushed by a roll 
conditioner, which is better for legumes than 
crimping, which breaks the stem every few cm 
(Rotz, 1995), or scratched mechanically by 
a flail mower or a tine conditioner, which is 
better for grasses (Klinner, 1976; Digman et 
al., 201 1). A thick forage mass going through 
the roller or flail mower decreases amount of 
conditioning received so operational speed is 
a factor. Final drying from 30-40% moisture 
to 1 5-20% for baling is slowest, during which 
time forage is most subject to damage from rain 
or high humidity. While reducing probability 
of weather damage, conditioning may lead to 
increased handling losses later. 

In general, flail mower conditioners have 
greater power requirements than sickle-mower 
roll-type conditioners because of the need 
to accelerate and convey cut forage by blade 
force, which leads to greater field losses of 
small pieces (McRandal and McNulty, 1978; 
Rotz and Sprott, 1984). Minimum blade 
velocity for cutting grass or oat straw was 20 
m s _1 , and power required for cutting actually 
decreased when blade velocity was increased 
to 60 m s- 1 (McRandal and McNulty, 1978). 
In their field evaluations with eight grasses 
and oat straw, at a blade velocity of 78 m 
s" 1 and forward velocity of 5.5 km h _1 , total 
power consumption increased linearly as crop 
density increased from 0.95 to 5.4 kg nr 2 . 
Throughout, energy to cut stems was minimal 
(3%) compared with that needed to accelerate 
and propel forage out of the machine (> 50%). 
Using a disc rotary cutter, actual stubble height 
increased from near the fixed height of 5.0 cm 
at forward velocity of 5.5 km tr 1 up to 6.3 cm 
of nonharvested stubble (1.8% field loss) at 
14.2 km Ir 1 (Ponican and Lichar, 2004). Losses 
of small pieces and other breakage due to 
swathing of forage cut with a disc rotary mower 
also increased from about 1.5% up to 6.4% as 
raking velocity increased. 

Solar radiation is the most important factor 
affecting drying in the swath followed in 
order by air temperature, relative humidity, 
wind speed, and soil moisture (Rotz and 
Chen, 1985). Therefore, the upper surface of 
the swath dries most rapidly indicating the 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



advantage of having wide windrows that are 
not thick. It also indicates why tedding or 
turning the windrow increases rate of drying. 
Forage may increase in moisture content due to 
absorption of water vapor from air during times 
of high humidity, mainly during the night, 
or from dew formation when liquid form is 
absorbed into dry inner parts of leaves and 
stems (Rotz, 1995). Thereafter, drying needs to 
resume, and it takes more time before forage 
reaches proper moisture content for storage. 

Rainfall on the windrow is particularly 
challenging because it can move into tissues 
as liquid, like dew, and if duration and 
intensity are great enough some rain will pass 
through the forage swath to increase soil water 
content. Surface water on the plants can dry 
rather rapidly after rain ceases depending on 
solar radiation and relative humidity. Water 
absorbed by plant tissue dries slower, and 
high humidity due to evaporation within the 
swath will be a further deterrent. With light 
rain of short duration a wide swath will retain 
a higher amount of water on plant surfaces 
than a narrow swath and will dry quickly. 
With a heavy rain the swath width makes little 
difference (Rotz, 1995). Conditioned forage 
may absorb more water into plant tissue than 
nonconditioned forage during rain events 
(Rotz, 1995). 

Swath manipulation by tedding, inversion, or 
raking can speed drying since the top of the 
swath dries faster than the bottom. But there is 
leaf loss that depends on moisture content (Fig. 
4.9). Further, each field operation increases 
fuel, labor, and machinery costs and increases 
leaf loss. Leaf loss of grasses from tedding is 
only about 25% that of alfalfa (Savoie, 1987). 
Routine tedding or inverting is rarely cost 
effective for legumes due to high leaf loss (Rotz 
and Savoie, 1991) but may be cost effective 
with grass crops for hay (McGechan, 1990). 

Based on summary data from Rotz and Muck 
(1994), harvest losses of legumes averaged 1% 
for mowing, 2% for mowing and conditioning, 
3% for tedding, 1% for swath inversion, 5% 
for raking, and about 4% for baling. With 
grasses losses from cutting and conditioning 
and from tedding were slightly lower than for 
legumes, whereas losses from other operations 
were similar. But the literature is consistent 



Types of Hay - 




u 



70 60 50 40 30 20 10 

Moisture When Stored (%) 

FIGURE 4.9. Typical losses in dry matter when 
legume-grass forage is stored at various moisture 
levels. Note losses in haymaking are due mainly 
to field situations, whereas those for silage making 
are due mainly to storage conditions. Adapted from 
Collins and Owens ( I 993). 



that moisture content for both should be above 
30% for raking. 

Some dry matter loss during handling and 
storage is unavoidable; it usually affects leaf 
loss, so proportional loss in quality is greater 
than loss in yield and depends largely on 
moisture content of forage (Fig. 4.9). Losses 
are primarily during storage for silage that is 
preserved at 60% moisture, whereas losses are 
mostly field losses for hay that is baled at 15% 
moisture (Fig. 4.9). Comprehensive research 
reviews conclude the most important factors 
leading to loss are respiration, leaf shatter, 
microbial activity, and color bleaching (Rotz 
and Muck, 1994; Collins and Coblentz, 2007). 
Minimal loss with near perfect conditions is 
about 15% of total dry matter and should be 
a goal (Rotz and Abrams, 1988). Based on 
five research reports, Rotz and Muck (1994) 
concluded average losses in hay making are 
between 24% and 28%. This suggests there is 
room for improvement. 

Several research studies support baling hay at 
20% moisture or less for long-term storage. 
Most published studies showed losses during 
indoor storage are about 5% for both legumes 
and grasses, but are about 1 5% for legume 
bales stored outdoors and about 12% for grass 
bales when both are stored off the ground 
on rocks or a platform. These summations 
support the NRCS practice standard for forage 
handling and storage. 



Some dry 

matter loss 

during handling 

and storage is 

unavoidable; it 

usually affects 

leaf loss, so 

proportional 

loss in quality is 

greater than loss 

in yield" 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 




Conservationist and landowner 
discuss a management plan. 
Photo by Paul Fusco, NRCS. 



Weather-induced losses are a major 
consideration in harvest management. Short 
intervals between rain events and the resulting 
high humidity require critical harvest timing 
to minimize losses due to weathering and to 
reduce soil compaction from heavy equipment 
on wet soils. During first harvest in spring 
the time required between cutting and forage 
removal from the field can be a few hours for 
preservation of silage, about 2 d for packaging 
and storing as haylage and 3 to 4 d when baled 
and stored as hay. Spring weather patterns in 
much of the eastern USA do not have sufficient 
dry periods to cut at the proper harvest stage 
and store quality hay. For these reasons, many 
producers accept loss of hay quality by delaying 
harvest, which allows plants to become more 
mature but coincides with less weather risk. 
However, harvest delay may provide some 
wildlife and environmental benefits. 



Estimating Moisture Content of 
the Forage 

Measuring moisture content of windrows is 
the best way to assure forage is the correct 
moisture for storage as silage or hay. There 
are many electronic moisture meters available 
commercially for field use, but accuracy is 
questionable with errors often being 5 or more 
percentage units of moisture, which is too high 
for hay. Most meters are based on measures 
of capacitance or conductance and are not 
acceptable for assessing forage suitability for 
ensiling. Meters using electrical resistance are 
also not useful for silage (Prairie Agricultural 
Machinery Institute, 1993). There are several 
good laboratory methods for measuring 
moisture content, but they are time consuming 
and not suitable for field applications. An 
intermediate method that may have some 
merit would be to take a sample from the 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



entire depth of the windrow, weigh the fresh 
sample, place it in a microwave to dry, and then 
weigh the sample again. This method requires 
experience to remove all water without charring 
the sample. 

Most methods used are nonscientific and based 
on farmer experience; for example, they may 
involve holding a sample of parallel stems 
and leaves that is about 5 cm in diameter in 
both hands, and then twisting the sample 
back and forth. If stems break after a few 
twists, the forage is dry enough to bale. For 
silage, a sample of cut forage can be squeezed 
into a ball that is allowed to expand on the 
open hand. If the ball gradually opens, the 
moisture content is acceptable for silage. If it 
is too wet, the ball will not expand very much. 
In both cases experience is helpful, but not 
quantitative, as stage of maturity and species 
of plants will cause samples to react differently. 
Unfortunately there are no defined methods 
for ease and accuracy for estimating moisture 
content in the field. This would be a good 
research contribution. 

Conserving Carbohydrates in the 
Forage 

Carbohydrates in forage should be conserved as 
much as possible during drying and handling 
processes. Respiration of cut forage continues 
rapid use of carbohydrates for 5 to 10 hr after 
cutting, which extends beyond closure of 
stomata (Collins and Coblentz, 2007) and 
continues until moisture content is reduced 
to about 40% (Klinner, 1976). Respiration 
requires sugars and reduces rapidly digestible 
carbohydrate in forage, especially from leaves 
with their superior forage quality; sugars are 
needed for bacterial fermentation during silage 
making (Muck and Kung, 2007). Due to high 
buffering capacity of proteins and mineral 
compounds in forage, both of which are higher 
in concentration in legumes, it requires more 
carbohydrate to make quality silage from 
legumes than grasses. 

Plant carbohydrates are higher in concentration 
at low temperatures than high temperatures 
due to reduced respiration, are higher in 
the afternoon than in the morning due to 
photosynthesis, are higher in leaves than 
stems, and are generally higher in cool-season 
grasses than legumes or warm-season grasses 



(Moore and Hatfield, 1994; Collins and 
Coblentz, 2007). Some research, especially in 
the West, suggests forage should be cut in late 
afternoon when carbohydrate concentrations 
are elevated to improve forage quality (Burns 
et al, 2005). Diurnal variation in carbohydrate 
concentrations also occurs in the East (e.g., 
Morin et al., 201 1) but appears to have less 
practical value since there is more cloud cover 
and lower photosynthesis, and initial drying 
occurs in late afternoon when humidity 
increases, especially during night. Lower 
carbohydrate concentrations and slower drying 
likely offset the potential advantage. 

Use of Drying Aids and Preservatives 

Chemical treatments have been used to increase 
rate of drying, particularly application of 
a water solution of potassium carbonate at 
mowing (Rotz, 1995). The chemical reduces 
cuticle resistance to facilitate faster moisture loss 
from the plant. Other chemicals are reputed 
to open stomata or disrupt the cuticle but 
have not worked as effectively. The mechanics 
for applying potassium carbonate have been 
worked out for alfalfa, and when used properly 
on days with high solar radiation, drying time 
for baling hay can be reduced by 1 d. Economic 
assessment is not consistent. The chemical also 
works to improve drying rates for grasses but 
is much less effective than for alfalfa, which 
has higher forage value and is more subject to 
weather damage and bleaching in the field. 

Moist hay can be preserved by use of a range 
of compounds, mainly those that inhibit 
microbial activity (Collins, 1995). Chemicals 
that are effective include organic acids such 
as propionic acid and ammonium propionate 
that control molding and heating of moist hay 
by preventing growth of fungi. In general, hay 
with higher moisture requires a higher acid 
concentration to inhibit microbial growth. In 
most cases with chemical treatment, storage 
losses are reduced and forage quality is retained. 
Animal acceptance of treated hay is generally 
not a problem. Using correct rates can be a 
challenge since moisture content of forage is 
variable across a field. In addition, application 
usually occurs as the windrow enters the baler, 
and distribution of the chemical should be 
uniform within the bale. Further, most organic 
acid treatments are now buffered, so they are 
less corrosive to equipment. 



u 



Chemical 

treatments have 

been used to 

increase rate 

of drying, 

particularly 

application of a 

water solution 

of potassium 

carbonate at 

mowing." 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



There were 
insufficient 
data on minor 
forage species 
to be confident 
about having the 
scientific base for 
management." 



Ammonia compounds reduce microbial growth 
(Woolford andTetlow, 1984) to be effective 
preservatives for moist hay under plastic 
(Moore et al, 1985). Urea added at 7 g kg" 1 to 
high-moisture tall fescue hay reduced mold and 
yeasts to about 15% of the control (Henning et 
al., 1990). Ammonia treatment also improved 
fiber digestibility and nitrogen content of low- 
quality grass hays like mature orchardgrass 
(Moore and Lechtenberg, 1987). Similar results 
occurred with urea-treated tall fescue hay. The 
treated orchardgrass hay also had higher forage 
intake and dry matter digestibility. Treatment 
of hay bales with anhydrous ammonia under 
plastic, especially bales with high moisture 
content, has been an effective way to preserve 
forage and also to increase protein content and 
digestibility of fiber fractions. Urea is an easy 
and effective way to treat hay since plant tissue 
naturally contains adequate activity of urease 
enzyme to convert urea to ammonia. These 
ammonia treatments improved digestibility of 
grass hays more than legume hays (Knapp et 
al., 1975). 

In summary, good research data are available 
for most practices to harvest, cure, and store 
major forage species. Fortunately most harvest 
practices are based on plant development and 
are transferable to nearby states. A gradient in 
temperature exists that leads to species shifts 
in adaptation according to latitude from north 
to south that are based largely on winter and 
summer temperatures (e.g., Fig. 4.7). Likewise, 
a rainfall gradient occurs primarily from west to 
east according to latitude. In general adaptation 
is affected more by latitude than longitude. But 
water stress levels tend to be different from west 
to east and may alter the management needed 
to offset stresses for plant persistence and for 
various types of wildlife. The plant hardiness 
map (Fig. 4.7) could be enhanced by adding 
information on soil types and erosion potentials 
to better consider adaptation of forage species 
and offer guidelines to manage soil erosion and 
water quality. 

There were insufficient data on minor forage 
species to be confident about having the 
scientific base for management. This will be 
critical because of growing interest in using 
native species and other minor-use species, 
especially in niche areas and for specific 
purposes. For example, several native legumes 



are known to have potential in hay and silage 
systems, and may offer better potential for 
wildlife, yet there are few data. 

PURPOSE 2: PROMOTE VIGOROUS 
PLANT REGROWTH 

Stored Reserves and Leaf Area 

Vigorous regrowth is desired for regaining 
maximum light interception by forage leaves 
to shade the soil and provide competition 
with weedy species. Vigorous regrowth of both 
legumes and grasses depends on the status of 
carbohydrate and nitrogen that are stored in 
plant parts that remain after cutting (Volenec 
et al, 1996; Volenec and Nelson, 2007). 
Carbohydrate, mainly starch, and nitrogen, 
usually as vegetative storage proteins, are 
stored in taproots of legumes and in stolons 
and rhizomes. Cool-season grasses store 
carbohydrate as fructan, a polymer of fructose, 
and vegetative storage proteins in stem bases 
and lower internodes. Warm-season perennial 
grasses store starch and nitrogen compounds in 
the lower stem. In general, the upright-growing 
grasses contain a larger supply of carbohydrate 
reserves when cut to leave tall stubble (Risser 
and Parton, 1982). Locations and roles of 
nitrogen storage in more prostrate growing 
warm-season grasses such as bermudagrass and 
bahiagrass are less understood. 

Cutting forage plants removes leaf area and 
reduces photosynthesis, immediately placing 
plants in a negative carbon and nitrogen 
balance (Volenec and Nelson, 2007). Root 
growth of grasses slows within a few hours 
after cutting and may stop temporarily or 
even die depending on the amount of leaf area 
removed. Similarly, cutting causes nitrogen 
fixation by legumes to slow dramatically or 
even stop. The reserves are used to develop 
new leaf area and support respiration of the 
nonphotosynthetic parts. The negative balance 
continues for up to 14 d after cutting, until leaf 
area is sufficient to support the carbohydrate 
requirements, roots grow again, and nitrogen 
fixation again becomes active. Reserve levels 
will be low at cutting if the duration from the 
previous cutting is short or if temperatures 
are high. In these cases, taller stubble should 
be left that has live leaf area. Residual leaf 
area provides photosynthate so plants regain 
a positive balance sooner, some root growth 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



can continue, soil is shaded to reduce air and 
soil temperature, and plant respiration rate is 
slowed. 

Regrowths originate from axillary meristems 
near soil level (Nelson, 1996; Moser and 
Nelson, 2003; Skinner and Moore, 2007). 
After cutting, buds of most legumes arise from 
the crown area or from lateral stems, stolons, or 
rhizomes. Leaves of cool-season grasses regrow 
from intercalary meristems located at bases 
of each leaf sheath. In addition, some grasses 
such as smooth bromegrass, reed canarygrass, 
and switchgrass have rhizomes with axillary 
buds that lead to lateral spread. Since leaf area 
is reduced after cutting, especially with grasses 
with an upright growth habit that are harvested 
mechanically, these meristems depend largely 
on carbohydrate and nitrogen reserves (Volenec 
and Nelson, 2007). Grasses with high tiller 
density and substantial leaf area near ground 
level such as Kentucky bluegrass depend less 
on stored reserves and mainly on leaf area for 
carbohydrate supply during regrowth. 

In summation, the principles discussed above 
are well known and have been researched 
for most major species, and appropriate 
management practices have emerged (Moser 
and Nelson, 2003; Skinner and Moore, 
2007). Practice Standard 511 recognizes 
these principles and appropriately gives them 
emphasis. There is concern, however, that 
less-used forage species, mainly legumes and 
forbs, have potential for commercial use, 
but regrowth processes and adaptation are 
not clearly understood from research. This 
weakness can lead to lack of success in practical 
situations when managers know the potentials, 
but not the best options for management. 

PURPOSE 3: MANAGE TO MAINTAIN 
DESIRED SPECIES 

Hay and silage are usually made from single- 
species fields of a perennial grass or alfalfa, 
or from mixtures of two or three species that 
often include a legume. Management to retain 
monocultures is generally associated with 
weed management to maintain a vigorous 
condition for a high-quality forage species 
such as alfalfa for dairy cattle. In most cases 
the legume component of a legume-grass 
mixture is used as the management guideline 




since legume persistence and production are 
more sensitive than grasses to management 
treatments. Particularly in the case of variable 
soils within a field, increased species diversity 
can lead to increased productivity, due to niche 
partitioning and other factors (Hector and 
Loreau, 2005). 

Cutting height is a critical management 
decision since it affects yield and quality of 
forage harvested, but it also affects persistence 
of many species and environmental services 
provided. Proper cutting height should be 
used to promote vigor and health of desired 
species. Fortunately this has been researched 
for major forage legumes (e.g., Buxton et 
al., 1985; Buxton and Hornstein, 1986) and 
grasses (Buxton and Marten, 1989; Buxton, 
1990). For example, alfalfa uses stored reserves 
almost exclusively in early regrowth; if reserves 
are high it is not critical to leave leaf area at 
cutting (Monson, 1966; Sheaffer et al., 1988). 
In contrast, half or more of the energy for 
regrowth of cool-season grasses can be from 
photosynthesis of residual leaf area (Ward and 
Blaser, 1961; Booysen and Nelson, 1975). 
Thus, cutting height can be used to maintain or 
regain species balance in a mixture. 

Several studies show leaving only 3 to 5 cm of 
stubble gives good regrowth of alfalfa when an 



Interseeding native grasses 
into a cool-season grass field 
in Iowa. NRCS photo by Lynn 
Betts. 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Soil temperatures 
can increase 
markedly if 
stubble does not 
provide shade." 



interval of 30 to 40 d occurs between cuttings. 
A taller cutting height for alfalfa was beneficial 
only when plants were cut frequently (Smith 
and Nelson, 1967), but leaving 8 to 10 cm 
of leafy stubble is recommended for birdsfoot 
trefoil. In contrast with alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil 
stores only small amounts of reserves during 
the summer, and regrowth depends nearly 
exclusively on photosynthesis of residual leaf 
area. In general, reserves in red clover roots 
respond similar to the pattern observed for 
alfalfa (Smith, 1962), and those of crown vetch 
(Langville and McKee, 1968) respond much 
like birdsfoot trefoil. Kura clover had higher 
forage yield with 4-cm stubble height than 
with 10-cm stubble height (Kim and Albrecht, 
201 1). Annual legumes such as korean and 
kobe lepedezas store very little reserve in the 
roots and depend on leaf area remaining after 
cutting to support regrowth (Davis et al., 1994, 
1995). 

Soil temperatures can increase markedly 
if stubble does not provide shade. In 
Massachusetts, when spring growth of 
orchardgrass was cut and removed, leaving 5 
cm of stubble, soil temperature the next day 
increased by 14°C (Colby et al, 1966). High 
temperatures increase respiration and heat 
stress on young tillers of cool-season grasses. 
In contrast, Kentucky bluegrass is a sod former 
that retains leaf area near the soil surface and 
can be cut shorter. There is evidence that 
leaving a tall stubble in late fall cuttings of 
upright-growing grasses and legumes helps 
catch snow and reduces soil freezing and 
thawing that leads to frost heaving and winter 
kill. Most of these relationships have been 
researched for major species, and practical 
results are published in extension outlets for a 
state or region. 

Stem tissue is lower in quality than leaf tissue, 
so whereas forage yield of alfalfa and upright 
grasses is greater when cut shorter, the added 
amount of stem tissue generally reduces quality 
of hay or silage (Buxton, 1990). Further, 
the lowest sections of stems are lower in 
quality than upper sections, and they support 
the oldest, lowest quality leaves of forage 
legumes (e.g., Buxton et al., 1985: Buxton 
and Hornstein, 1986) and grasses (Buxton 
and Marten, 1989; Buxton, 1990). In West 
Virginia, monocultures of bermudagrass and 



Caucasian bluestem with somewhat prostrate 
growth had higher forage yield than did 
upright growing switchgrass when cutting 
began early in the season (Belesky and Fedders, 
1995). However, growth rates for all were 
higher when 75% of the canopy was removed 
compared with 50% removal. They concluded 
that bermudagrass and Caucasian bluestem were 
better adapted to frequent defoliation, whereas 
switchgrass would be better for conserved 
forage. Thus, cutting to shorter stubble heights 
usually increases forage yield, but may reduce 
forage quality (Burger et al., 1962). This 
economic relationship needs to be understood 
while managing legume-grass mixtures. 

In addition, since forage grasses store reserves 
in lower stem internodes and stem bases, 
more reserves are removed by close cutting 
which reduces regrowth vigor of cool-season 
(Matches, 1969) and warm-season grasses 
(Rains et al., 1975). Close cutting also opens 
the canopy, which allows shifts in legume-grass 
proportions (Fales et al., 1996) and greater 
invasion of weeds in monocultures of alfalfa 
(Peters and Linscott, 1988). It also shifts the 
proportions of cool- and warm-season grasses 
growing in mixture. 

Managing for the Desired Species Mix 

Matching maturity times of legume and grass 
components is critical since management is 
easier when both types of plants are at the 
appropriate growth stage when harvested, 
especially spring growth. Morphological and 
physiological relationships are important, but 
recent research on mixtures has been minimal. 
Exceptions relate to the endophyte status 
of tall fescue, which has very little effect on 
compatibility with some legume species (e.g., 
alfalfa; Hoveland et al. 1997), and the quest for 
legumes that are compatible with native warm- 
season perennial grasses in the Midwest and 
with a range of grass species in the South. 

Review of several extension publications show 
a sound scientific basis for management of 
mixtures of most major species (e.g., Koenig 
et al, 2002, in Utah; Rayburn, 2002, in West 
Virginia; Johnson, 2007, in Indiana; Barnhart 
and Sternweis, 2009, in Iowa; Hancock et 
al., 201 1, in Georgia). Over a period of years, 
legume-grass mixtures are often higher yielding 
than monocultures of any of the components, 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



more persistent, better adapted to variable 
soils in the field, more resistant to weed 
encroachment, have better erosion control, and 
compared with a monoculture of legume are 
easier to harvest and cure. 

Most research has been on alfalfa-grass mixtures 
with coalescence around use of orchardgrass 
that matches alfalfa in stages of maturity, 
improves seasonal distribution of production, 
gives good regrowth and competition with 
weeds in summer, and improves ground 
cover during winter (Wolf and Smith, 
1963). Compared with grass monocultures 
in Iowa, binary mixtures of alfalfa, birdsfoot 
trefoil, and kura clover all improved seasonal 
growth distribution with smooth bromegrass, 
orchardgrass, and intermediate wheatgrass 
(Sleugh et al., 2000). In contrast, tall fescue 
and timothy tend to match best with red 
clover, whereas studies with Kentucky bluegrass 
tend to focus on white clover, which is also 
low growing. Using appropriate cutting 
management, yield of an alfalfa-reed canary 
grass mixture in Minnesota was greater than 
reed canarygrass in mixture with birdsfoot 
trefoil or red clover, while yields with ladino 
clover were lowest (Heichel and Henjum, 
1991). Nitrogen fixation by legumes was 
closely related to their yield in the mixture. In 
mixture with reed canarygrass, alfalfa fixed 175 
kg N ha" 1 , whereas birdsfoot trefoil fixed 77 
kg N ha" 1 , red clover fixed 63 kg N ha" 1 , and 
ladino clover fixed only 9 kg N ha" 1 . 



Several extension publications suggest a 
threshold of about 25-30% legume in mixtures 
to gain the benefits of legumes in a mixture. 
Grass monocultures fertilized with high N rates 
have higher yield potential than legume-grass 
mixtures without N (Wolf and Smith, 1963; 
Sleugh et al., 2000), whereas legume-grass 
mixtures have higher forage quality, better weed 
control, and improved stand persistence. But 
mixtures are more difficult to maintain because 
of species differences in growth habits and in 
carbohydrate reserves at cutting (Kust and 
Smith, 1961). Shorter stubble usually favors 
alfalfa, whereas taller stubble heights tend to 
favor the grass component. Fortunately, good 
educational information is available on the 
basic principles of management of mixtures of 
legumes and cool-season grasses that include 
effects of light interception and N nutrition. 
These are also regulated by liming that favors 
the legume, K nutrition that favors legumes 
that are less competitive for K at low rates, 
cutting height, cutting frequency, timing of 
fertilization, and reseeding practices. 

Nutrient management is an important tool for 
maintaining desired proportions of legume and 
grass species in the field. Nearly all experiment 
stations recommend no N fertilizer be used 
on mixes including at least 25% legumes since 
N tends to stimulate grasses making them too 
competitive. Conversely, fertilization with K 
improves tolerance of environmental stresses; 
grasses benefit most at low rates, while legumes 



u 



mixtures are 

more difficult to 

maintain because 

of species 

differences 

in growth 

habits and in 

carbohydrate 

reserves at 

cutting." 




Native grasses are part of a 
buffer system to aid wildlife 
and the environment. NRCS 
photo by Lynn Betts. 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 




Discussion about pasture 
management in Louisiana. 
NRCS photo by Bob Nichols. 



benefit most at high rates. Most experiment 
stations suggest fertilization of legume-grass 
hayfields with K after first harvest to improve 
tolerance to drought and heat or in early 
autumn to improve winter survival (Meyer 
and Helm, 1994). These recommendations 
are based on good science and are effective. 
Dealing with manures as nutrient sources is 
more challenging and is discussed later in this 
chapter. 

In summary there is good research on the 
importance of legume-grass mixtures and 
management strategies to maintain both types 
of plants in the stand. Legumes are the most 
sensitive component, and, if they cannot be 
managed to persist or naturally reseed, they are 
usually overseeded periodically to increase stand 
density. Due to autotoxicity alfalfa cannot be 
overseeded to increase stand density (Jennings 
and Nelson, 2002). Unfortunately there are few 
herbicides that can be used to control weeds in 
legume-grass mixtures. 

PURPOSE 4: MANAGE FORAGES FOR 
EFFECTIVE SOIL NUTRIENT UPTAKE 

Fields devoted to harvested forage lack the 
inherent nutrient recycling found in pasture 
systems (Brown, 1996). Replacement of 
nutrients removed is required for a sustainable 
system, and soil testing is essential for 



documenting nutrient changes in soil over time 
(Wood et al., Chapter 5, this volume). Fertility 
management, including rates and timing, for 
mixed perennial forages can have dramatic 
effects on the species balance. Removal of 
nutrients by harvested forages can be estimated 
using published forage composition tables; 
however, forage composition of a particular 
field may deviate greatly from average 
values. Since both yield estimates and forage 
analysis are essential for using precision feed 
management, these data can also be used to 
help assess fertilizer needs for the crop. 

While nutrient removal by forage is critical 
for economic returns to the producer, fate 
of applied nutrients that are not taken up is 
of environmental concern and needs to be 
minimized. This is covered to a great extent 
by Wood et al. (Chapter 5, this volume) and 
is supplemented here considering removal of 
forage to be stored for use as an animal feed. 

Nutrient Management for Yield 
and Persistence 

Lime. Soil nutrient levels must be assessed 
prior to establishment of perennial forages 
(Barker et al., Chapter 2, this volume). Natural 
soil pH is usually acidic in the eastern USA 
that was dominated by forest, but tends to be 
closer to neutral (pH = 7.0) in the dryer areas 
to the west that were dominated by prairie. 
Availability of nutrients in the soil is affected 
by pH, and it should be corrected to optimum 
for the species to be planted. If soil pH is 
too low for the sown species, lime should be 
applied and worked into soil prior to seeding. 
Appropriate soil pH (in water suspension) in 
northern states is approximately 6.5 to 7.0 
for alfalfa, slightly lower for red clover and 
birdsfoot trefoil, and 5.8 to 6.5 for grasses 
(Brown, 1996). Recommended amounts of 
liming material are quantified using estimates 
of neutralizable activity in the surface soil. 
Actual recommendations based on local 
research may vary from state to state due to use 
of different calibration techniques. 

Nitrogen. Nitrogen has the greatest effect 
on forage yield of all nutrients, and the most 
influence on forage quality and balance of 
a legume-grass mixture. Legumes fix most 
of the N that they require without need for 
added external N. Most studies on alfalfa have 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



concluded there is a reduction in N fixation 
with addition of readily available sources of N, 
but responses have been variable. For example, 
Shuler and Hannaway (1993) concluded 
biological N fixation can be completely 
inhibited by available soil nitrate, while other 
studies suggest that significant N fixation occurs 
in alfalfa, even when fertilizer N is applied at 
high rates (Cherney and Duxbury, 1994; Lamb 
et al, 1995). Reasons are unknown. 

Rarely is N fertilizer (beyond N fixation) 
recommended for mixtures if the stand is at 
least 40% legume (Ketterings et al, 2007). 
Such estimates are based on experience, as 
there is no good soil test for N on which to 
base these recommendations. Once the legume 
component is reduced to less than 20% in a 
mixed legume-grass stand, the field is usually 
managed as a grass using N applications 
to increase yield, putting the legume at 
a competitive disadvantage and the grass 
component dominates. 

Grass monocultures can respond to high levels 
of N fertilization (over 335 kg ha 1 annually) 
under adequate moisture conditions (Hall et 
al., 2003). Rates above 250 kg ha _1 annually, 
even with split applications, increase risks 
of nitrate leaching, and high forage nitrate 
concentrations that can affect animal health. 
Some grass species have lower yields and lower 
forage-N content, making them less efficient 
at removing soil nitrate. There are few species- 
specific N recommendations for cool-season 
grasses harvested for stored forage. Some 
states base N recommendations for grasses on 
average soil moisture availability (Anderson 
and Shapiro, 1990). Some Midwestern states 
base recommendations on projected yields of 
a specific species, ranging from 5.5 to 18 kg N 
Mg~ ! of forage in the Midwest (Brown, 1996). 
The economic optimum N rate is considerably 
higher in the Northeast, exceeding 27 kg N 
Mg" 1 of forage (Hall et al., 2003). 

Potential environmental effects of N 
fertilization of grasses can be estimated by the 
amount of applied N that is not recovered in 
the harvested forage. The calculation is based 
on N recovered in fertilizer treatments minus 
N recovered by unfertilized controls. But the 
fate of the nonrecovered N is not known. 
Apparent-N recovery by perennial grasses at 



fertilization rates of 225 to 270 kg N ha ' was 
variable and generally ranged between 50% and 
70% (Vetsch and Russelle, 1999; Hall et al., 
2003; Cherney and Cherney, 2006). Timothy 
typically has a significantly lower apparent-N 
recovery than other cool-season species (George 
et al, 1973; Hall et al., 2003). Increasing 
number of harvests per season will increase 
recovery (Hall et al, 2003), but splitting 
applications of N has not increased total N 
recovered or apparent N recovery (Vetsch and 
Russelle, 1999; Cherney and Cherney, 2006). 
Applying N just before rapid growth need is 
usually considered a good way to maximize 
recovery, but there are few studies that have 
evaluated this topic. 

Phosphorus. Phosphorus recommendations 
are based on soil test results, although several 
different P extractants are used to test for 
soil-P depending on the state. Phosphorus 
recommendations also are based partly 
on whether soils were leached of P during 
formation (Brown, 1996), resulting in a wide 
range of recommended amounts. From a soil 
perspective, timing of P fertilization during 
the season does not appear important, but 
forage species differ in response. Phosphorus 
is important for N fixation in legumes, 
impacting both yield and persistence (Berg 
et al, 2007), and legumes are less efficient at 
extracting P from soils compared with grasses 
(Barker and Collins, 2003). Significant yield 
responses of grasses have been noted (Ludwick 
and Rumberg, 1976; Christians et al., 1979). 
Phosphorus has a greater effect on yield than 
on persistence in grasses. 

Programs for gradually increasing soil-P 
should be reevaluated in this era of increased 
environmental concerns. Phosphorus content 
of forages does not fluctuate greatly, averaging 
approximately 0.33% of dry weight in grass 
silage and 0.34% in legume silage (DairyOne 
Forage Laboratory, Ithaca, NY). Phosphorus 
typically has been overfed to dairy cattle 
(Harris et al, 1990). The excess P usually ends 
up in the manure creating a disposal problem. 
This serious P-management problem should 
not be solved by limiting P availability and 
yield of plants but can be dealt with effectively 
by limiting P content of supplementary feeds 
in the diet (Van Horn et al., 1991; Esser et al., 
2009; Bjelland et al., 2011). 



u 



excess P usually 

ends up in the 

manure creating 

a disposal 

problem." 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Priority fields 
for manure 
application 
should be those 
fields with 
nonlegume crops 
that could most 
benefit from 
manure nutrients.' 



Potassium. Potassium has the same issues with 
extractants as those mentioned for P above. 
Unlike P, which has low water solubility, K 
is soluble so timing of applications on forage 
crops is important. Soil K is released naturally 
over winter so is relatively high in spring, 
indicating application of K to forage crops 
should be delayed until after first hay harvest. 
Potassium is essential for maintaining yields, 
reducing disease susceptibility, and increasing 
winter hardiness and stand survival. For alfalfa, 
an application of K later in the season will help 
ensure that K is available to enhance plant 
survival over winter. For grasses, potassium 
fertilizer regimes should be controlled by 
K-supplying power of the soil and by total K 
removed per season (Cherney et al., 1998). 
Yield and persistence of alfalfa are strongly 
influenced by available soil K, while grasses 
are less dramatically affected (Cherney and 
Cherney, 2005). Yet K fertilization of grasses 
is critical for winter hardiness, especially for 
bermudagrass that receives high rates of N 
fertilizer. 

Potassium concentration in forage crops is 
relatively high, is related to available soil K 
and can be higher in the crop than needed 
for high yield, resulting in significant removal 
by the crop. Potassium content of forages is 
considerably more variable than P, averaging 
2.4% in grass silage and 2.8% in legumes 
(DairyOne Forage Laboratory, Ithaca, NY). In 
addition to amount of available K in the soil, 
concentration of K in grasses is influenced by 
grass species, forage age, and time of season, 
and also interacts strongly with N fertilization. 
Variability occurs in grasses because they 
exhibit luxury consumption at high rates of K, 
yet they also can tolerate lower levels of soil- 
test K than legumes (Joern and Volenec, 1996; 
Cherney et al., 2003). 

Use of Animal Manures for Yield, 
Persistence, and Nutrient Management 

Animal manures supply both nutrients and 
organic matter to soil which are assets. Yet 
they can affect harvested forage negatively 
through excessive nutrient concentrations or 
through contamination of the soil surface. Type 
of animal generating the manure, amount of 
excreta versus bedding or litter, and manure 
storage system all affect application and use 
of manure (Simpson, 1991). Manure use for 



establishment of perennial grasses, legumes, or 
legume-grass mixtures may increase yields if 
soil is deficient in P, K, S, or B (Ketterings et 
al., 2008). Inclusion of an annual companion 
crop is suggested to minimize N losses 
while perennial crops are slowly becoming 
established. 

Established alfalfa and alfalfa-grass hayfields can 
be topdressed with cattle manure without loss 
of yield or quality; however, there may be risk 
of heavy metal accumulation in soils treated 
with poultry or swine manure (Nicholson 
et al, 1999; Wood et al, Chapter 5, this 
volume). Additional risks involved in manure 
applications to alfalfa include salt damage to 
new growth, pathogen contamination, and 
soil compaction and damage to plant crowns 
during application. The ratio of N to P in 
manures differs from the needs of forage plants. 
Therefore, manure application to meet N 
requirements of forage crops results in excess P 
application, with the additional disadvantage of 
N volatilization losses. Partial incorporation of 
manure using an aerator/ tillage tool can reduce 
volatilization losses (Fuchs, 2002). Even though 
alfalfa has a deep rooting zone to capture 
nitrates low in the soil profile, high application 
rates of liquid manure (23,000 L ha" 1 ) resulted 
in significant leaching (Daliparthy et al., 1994). 

From a nutrient-use-efficiency standpoint, corn 
and forage grass fields tend to be preferred sites 
for manure application. Forage grasses have a 
high N requirement while minimizing nitrate 
leaching due to a fibrous root system. After 
two to four seasons of manure application, 
forage yields of perennial grasses were equal or 
higher than those fertilized with commercial N 
(Cherney et al., 2002; Cherney et al., 2010). 
Different times of manure application during 
the season did not affect yield or forage quality 
of cool-season grasses (Cherney et al., 2010). 
Alfalfa typically meets its nitrogen requirement 
through biological N fixation, so N from 
other sources such as manure is unnecessary 
if conditions for N fixation are satisfactory. 
Priority fields for manure application should be 
those fields with nonlegume crops that could 
most benefit from manure nutrients. 

Current nutrient management plans for many 
states require that manure application to corn 
and forage grasses be limited to crop-N needs, 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



increasing the likelihood that some manure 
will need to be applied to forage legumes such 
as alfalfa or legume-grass fields. At some times 
these fields may be the only ones available 
and accessible for manure application. If 
legume monocultures continue to fix N in the 
presence of readily available N sources, uptake 
of manure N will be reduced, and the manure 
application could increase risk of N leaching. 
The risk is reduced if manure is applied to 
alfalfa-grass mixtures, in which case the grasses 
will use the manure N. The practice of applying 
manure shortly before plowing alfalfa or alfalfa- 
grass stands designated for rotation to corn or 
other crops should be strongly discouraged. 
Breakdown of alfalfa or alfalfa-grass by soil 
microorganisms alone supplies sufficient N for 
a corn crop under most conditions (Lawrence 
etal., 2008a). 

The vast majority of broiler chickens in the 
USA are produced in southern states, resulting 
in a large broiler litter manure source for 
potential application on forage fields (Wood 
et al., Chapter 5, this volume). Mechanically 
harvested forage will reduce buildup of 
nutrients from poultry litter applications, 
and limited N fertilization will encourage 
mineral uptake of P, K, Cu, and Zn that would 
otherwise build up in soils (Evers, 2002; 
Pederson et al., 2002). Depending on rate 
and frequency of applications, poultry litter 
may increase levels of soil nutrients enough to 
adversely affect health of animals consuming 
harvested forage. Off-farm alternative uses for 
manures such as compost, mulch, or substrate 
for mushroom growing should be considered 
if forage fields are the only alternative and they 
already have excessively high nutrient levels. 

Manure or Soil Contamination 
of Forage 

Manure carries a variety of pathogens that 
can live in soil for up to 1 yr (Stabel, 1998). 
Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, and E. coli 
bacteria can be found in manure, along with 
the pathogenic protozoa Cryptosporidium and 
Giardia. There is risk of direct leakage from 
manure in buildings, in storage, or following 
spreading on land (Mawdsley et al., 1995). 
Manure pathogens may move laterally via 
surface or subsurface runoff and downward 
through sandy soils, cracking clay soils, or tile- 
drained soils (Geohring et al., 2001). 



Some soil-borne pathogens will proliferate 
in improperly stored forage and be exposed 
to animals. Unpasteurized or raw milk can 
potentially carry a variety of serious pathogens 
including Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli, 
and cheese made from raw milk can contain 
these same pathogens (CDC, 2007; Omicciole 
et al, 2009). Ensiled forage that does not 
achieve a low pH can result in proliferation 
of Clostridium botulinum, a secondary 
fermentation, particularly if the stored forage 
is greater than 70% moisture. Botulism in 
stored hay is rare but possible if wet, anaerobic 
conditions exist. 

Aerobic molding of hay or silage from 
Aspergillus and other aerobic fungi reduces 
palatability, but generally causes significant 
animal disorders only in horses. An exception 
occurs when mycotoxins are produced. 
Aspergillus, Fusarium, Penicillium, and 
Alternaria are all capable of producing 
mycotoxins in silage and haylage (Kuldau 
and Mansfield, 2006). Toxins from Aspergillus 
species are the most common in warmer 
climates, and aflatoxins and cyclopiazonic acid 
produced by Aspergillus species are passed in 
milk. Fusarium species generate toxins most 
efficiently at relatively cool temperatures, 
and these toxins are not reduced by ensiling 
(Gotlieb, 1997). Soil contamination and/ 
or aerobic deterioration of silage also can 
result in proliferation of Listeria (Collins and 
Hannaway, 2003), a serious condition more 
commonly found in bale silage. 

The most common pathogen in manure 
affecting animal health is Mycobacterium 
paratuberculosis, the causative agent of Johne's 
disease, which is an incurable, progressive 
disease in cattle. Research is underway to 
determine if it can spread to humans as Crohn's 
disease. Approximately 22% of US dairy herds 
contain animals infected with Johne's disease, 
although very few animals show clinical signs 
of the disease (Collins and Manning, 2005). 
Infected, subclinical animals can infect other 
animals for up to 10 yr before showing clinical 
symptoms, often following significant stress 
such as calving (Jansen and Godkin, 2005). 
Calves can become infected by ingesting a small 
amount of infected manure or milk. Regular 
monitoring of the herd for Johne's disease is 
strongly suggested. 



u 



Manure carries 

a variety of 

pathogens that 

can live in soil for 

up to 1 yr." 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Forage plant 
growth habit 
and rooting 
architecture 
significantly 
affect the balance 
between runoff 
and infiltration." 



There are several methods to control spread of 
M. paratuberculosis. The bacterium is sensitive 
to pH; a surface lime application on fields 
receiving manure applications will reduce its 
survival. Young animals should not come in 
contact with pastures or stored forage that 
is potentially contaminated with manure. 
The bacteria survive on dry hay but proper 
ensiling appears to greatly reduce populations 
(Katayama et al., 2001). If animals with Johne's 
disease are known to be present in the herd, the 
manure should be applied on nonforage fields 
to minimize forage contamination. Spread 
of Johne's disease is minimized if manure 
applications are delayed until after final forage 
harvest of the season. Manure contamination 
of harvested forage during the season is 
minimized if manure is applied during spring 
greenup or immediately after harvesting, before 
forage regrowth has accumulated. Manure or 
soil contaminating the surface of forage tissue 
increases risk of Johne's disease or clostridial 
silage fermentation. 

In summary, harvesting forage at the proper 
stage of maturity and moisture level for the 
storage system is a key practice to minimize 
pathogens and toxins in forage. Rapid harvest, 
tight packing, and oxygen exclusion for silage 
making are also essential (Collins and Owens, 
2003). Feedout of forage, especially from 
bunker silos, must be at a rate per day that is 
rapid enough to avoid surface spoilage. 

Management Effects to Reduce 
Nutrient Runoff 

Surface runoff and erosion may contaminate 
surface waters with P as well as manure 
pathogens (Sharpley et al., 1994). In general, 
forage crops reduce soil erosion by protecting 
the soil surface from raindrops (Karlen et 
al., 2007). The energy from raindrops is 
dissipated, preventing them from dispersing 
soil aggregates, thus increasing filtration and 
minimizing runoff. Forage plant growth habit 
and rooting architecture significantly affect 
the balance between runoff and infiltration. 
Sod-forming vegetation, particularly species 
with rhizomes such as reed canarygrass, reduces 
velocity of runoff and protects soil surfaces 
from erosion (Karlen et al, 2007). 

Forages may serve a dual purpose as a forage 
crop and as a conservation buffer. Buffer 



strips of perennial forages can play a major 
role in minimizing nutrient flow into surface 
waterways (Clausen et al., 2000; Liu et al., 
2008). Contour buffer strips, field borders, 
filter strips, and grassed waterways may all 
be used for forage production (Karlen et al., 
2007). Care should be taken when harvesting 
conservation buffers such as filter strips and 
waterways that are more likely to have wet 
soils. Heavy forage harvesting equipment can 
compact or produce ruts in the forage field, 
depending on soil moisture and soil type. 
Soil compaction decreases infiltration and 
can increase runoff. Ruts can also increase 
runoff by providing channels for water 
flow, depending on field slope and channel 
orientation. 

If possible, manure applications should be 
timed to minimize the potential for a rain 
event soon after the application. Applications 
in summer and early fall are more likely to 
meet this criterion, when soils tend to be 
relatively dry. Precipitation directly following 
manure application will maximize chances 
for nutrient and pathogen runoff, as well as 
chances for leaching, macropore flow, and 
effluent losses through tile drains (Geohring 
et al., 2001). Partially incorporating manure 
into soil is a good manure management 
practice that reduces potential runoff losses 
from perennial forage fields (Fuchs, 2002; 
Lawrence et al., 2008b). Manure application, 
as well as harvest for hay or silage, should be 
restricted to fields with a slope that is less than 
15%. Forage land with steeper slopes may be 
used for pasture, where runoff concerns exceed 
leaching issues. Leaching potential is greater in 
pastures compared to mechanically harvested 
forage fields (Karlen et al., 2007). 

Nutrient Imbalances and Effects on 
Livestock 

Proper timing and rates of fertilization for 
forage crops will maximize yield and persistence 
and will result in high nutrient uptake. Just as 
overfertilization of field crops was common in 
the past, overfeeding of cattle also was viewed 
as cheap insurance for maximizing productivity. 
Forage crops can be managed and harvested 
to produce optimum quality forage for a 
given class of livestock. Ration balancing for 
each class of livestock can eliminate nutrient 
deficiencies, but nutrient excesses in forages are 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



most effectively controlled by soil fertility and 
harvest management. 

Some forage crops contain toxic compounds 
in sufficiently high concentrations to harm 
animals. Examples are hydrocyanic acid 
in sorghums, ergot alkaloids in tall fescue, 
indole alkaloids in reed canarygrass, and 
phytoestrogens and coumarin in legumes. 
Harvesting plants at more advanced stages of 
growth for hay or silage greatly reduces the 
cyanide potential in sorghums (Collins and 
Hannaway, 2003). Alkaloids in tall fescue can 
be reduced to safe levels by use of endophyte- 
free seed (Sleper and West, 1996), although 
endophyte infection increases plant tolerance 
to water stress, insects, and disease. Nontoxic 
endophytes have been developed that increase 
plant persistence in tall fescue with minimal 
or no effect on livestock performance (Bouton 
et al., 2002). Growing infected tall fescue in 
mixture with a legume such as white or red 
clover or other grasses dilutes the toxicity 
level. Livestock disorders due to alkaloids in 
reed canarygrass can be minimized by use 
of low- alkaloid cultivars (Marten, 1989). 
Negative effects of most toxins can be 
minimized by dilution of the toxin source 
in the animal diet with other forage sources. 
Proper ensiling minimizes effects of most 
toxins except for cyanide potential and 
phytoestrogens (Collins and Hannaway, 
2003). 

Nutrient imbalances, such as grass tetany 
(hypomagnesaemia), and bloat are typically 
seasonal and most often associated with 
ingestion of fresh forage on pasture. Nitrate 
toxicity in grasses can be generated by high N 
fertilization, coupled with drought, frost, or 
prolonged cloudy conditions that slow growth. 
Under normal conditions nitrates accumulate 
rapidly in forage after fertilizer application, but 
with moderate rates are metabolized to other 
compounds within 3 wk (Fig. 4.10). Forage 
growth during drought is reduced, and nitrates 
can accumulate to high levels since they are not 
used to increase yield. These nitrates are stable 
and remain high if plants are harvested and 
stored as hay, but concentrations are reduced by 
about 50% when forage is ensiled. Alternative 
solutions include allowing plants to mature 
further or to cut higher to leave lower stem 
material. 




u 



12 3 4 5 

Weeks after Fertilizer Application 

FIGURE 4.10. Nitrogen fertilization effects on forage 
nitrate patterns in tall fescue depend on application 
rate and ability of growth processes to utilize 
accumulated nitrate compounds. From Collins and 
Hannaway (2003). 

The primary nutrient imbalance associated 
with stored forage is high K content leading 
to potentially severe post-partum maladies in 
dairy cattle. As discussed above, K is subject 
to luxury consumption in grasses, which is 
aggravated by high N fertilization (Cherney et 
al., 1998). Controlling K inputs to a field of 
cool-season grasses utilized as dry cow forage, 
along with delayed harvest, can minimize K 
content of forage and potentially avoid milk 
fever and associated post-partum problems 
(Cherney et al., 2003; Cherney and Cherney, 
2005). Warm-season grasses are usually lower 
in K concentration and have less risk. 

PURPOSE 5: MANAGE FORAGES TO 
CONTROL INSECTS, DISEASES, AND 
WEEDS 

Control of insects, diseases, and weeds is most 
economic and usually based on maintaining 
a vigorous stand to provide a strong degree 
of biological control through healthy plants. 
Most forage cultivars are seeded and are highly 
heterogeneous in nature; therefore they have 
genotypic plasticity that allows adaptation to 
environmental or management conditions. 
Recognizing this, plant breeders have been 
primary contributors to disease control 
through selection and use of disease-resistant 
cultivars (Nelson and Burns, 2005; Lamb et al., 
2006), although yield or quality may be only 
marginally changed. Most genetic progress has 
been made in disease resistance that may also 
favor persistence (Lamb et al., 2006). In only 



Some forage 

crops contain 

toxic compounds 

in sufficiently high 

concentrations to 

harm animals." 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 




Conservation specialists 
evaluate a prescribed grazing 
practice in Arkansas. NRCS 
photo by Jeff Vanuga. 



a few cases is it economic to use fungicides, 
bactericides, or nematicides in hay or silage 
plantings. Instead, the crop is usually harvested 
to remove the infected material with the 
expectation the regrowth will be less infected 
and the plants will survive. Conversely there is 
good evidence that leaf diseases can cause leaf 
death and loss, which reduces the digestibility 
and intake of the forage. 

Principles of integrated pest management are 
most frequently used to control biotic stresses. 
These principles depend on knowledge of life 
cycles and management guidelines for the 
forage and life cycle of the specific disease, 
insect pest, or weed (Sulc and Lamp, 2007). 
Management can be altered by cutting at times 
in life cycles when plants are vigorous and the 
pathogen, pest, or weed is in a vulnerable stage. 
But this interaction also changes with time as 
new cultivars are introduced and management 
practices are changed. In some cases release of 
exotic insects or pathogens helped reduce pest 
or weed populations to near or below threshold 
levels. For example, several exotic parasites 
and some pathogens from Europe have been 
released to control alfalfa weevil. In some cases 
a forest or other crop must be nearby to provide 
habitat for survival of the parasite or pathogen. 
Desired long-term ecosystem solutions are 
based on a mix of biological control and 



resistant cultivars. Most genetic progress has 
been made with alfalfa, due to private industry 
leadership and a very specialized seed industry 
that provides protection of proprietary cultivars 
(Lamb et al., 2006). 

Potato leafhopper, another major insect pest of 
alfalfa, releases toxins as nymphs feed on leaves. 
Plants are stunted, and protein content of 
forage is reduced. This problem was less serious 
when harvests were made at late maturities 
(Graber and Sprague, 1935). Adults overwinter 
in the Deep South and move northward on 
wind currents to lay eggs in alfalfa fields. 
Harvest at near full bloom removed the forage 
before eggs hatched and nymphs developed. 
When better cultivars were introduced to allow 
earlier and more frequent harvest, eggs were 
laid in regrowth after first harvest and nymphs 
damaged plants before second harvest. Some 
damage also occurred in the third harvest. Use 
of insecticides was the first response, but this 
has been largely replaced by use of glandular- 
haired cultivars that deter egg laying (Sulc et 
al., 2002). Genetic resistance was increased 
such that today there is no economic damage 
on new glandular-haired cultivars. 

In eastern states the egg hatch of alfalfa weevil 
in early spring allowed larval damage before 
the first harvest. It was too early to cut alfalfa, 
so insecticides were needed. Early regrowth 
after first harvest can be damaged, but little if 
any damage occurs in later harvests because 
adults leave the field. The weevils reduce yield 
some, with most effect being loss of forage 
quality since larva feed on young leaf blades. 
Several attempts were made to develop genetic 
resistance with very little success (Lamb et al., 
2006), so other alternatives were researched. 
Gradually other insects were introduced and 
became established that parasitized the larval 
stages of the weevil (Sulc and Lamp, 2007). 
Biocontrol methods for weevil control usually 
are effective enough in much of the northern 
USA that insecticides are not needed on a 
regular basis (Radcliffe and Flanders, 1998). 

Survival of fall-laid eggs of alfalfa weevil in 
basal parts of the stem leads to the early spring 
infestation the following year, especially in 
the geographic transition zone with milder 
winters. This major feeding comes early, ahead 
of the biocontrol agents, and requires some 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



intervention. Burning the stubble in winter or a 
late fall harvest increases winter kill of the eggs 
and delays major damage until spring-laid eggs 
hatch. But these management treatments open 
the canopy in fall and winter, which allows 
greater infestations of winter annual weeds and/ 
or potential for plant heaving. Winter annual 
weeds such as henbit and chickweed tend to be 
prostrate and cover buds on crowns of alfalfa to 
reduce shoot number, yield, and competiveness 
during spring. Farm managers in this zone 
must decide whether to harvest in late autumn 
and monitor winter annual weeds or not 
harvest in late autumn and monitor early hatch 
of weevils (Caddel et al., 1995). 

Other insect problems occur infrequently or 
mainly in certain areas. Alfalfa snout beetle 
occurs near the St. Lawrence Seaway in 
northern New York and southern Canada, 
presumably introduced from Europe by ship 
traffic. Snout beetle larvae destroy alfalfa 
tap roots, and there is no practical control 
through management or pesticides. Fortunately 
the insect is flightless. Clover root curculio 
affects younger clover and alfalfa plants by 
girdling outer layers of root tissue to get food. 
Feeding reduces storage of carbohydrates 
and regrowth vigor and opens root tissue 
to pathogens that cause diseases and plant 
death. Fall armyworm infestations occur 
intermittently in forage crops in northern 
areas, and more routinely in southern areas 
where they can be very damaging to yield and 
plant vigor if not controlled, usually requiring 
an insecticide. State Agricultural Experiment 
Stations and Extension Services provide 
information on identification of insect pests 
and the array of ways they can be controlled. 
Invariably information focuses first on plant 
management to reduce the problem, with use 
of an insecticide as a last resort. Information 
generally cautions users about application of 
chemicals and restrictions on subsequent use of 
the forage. 

Weeds are plants that compete strongly with 
desired forage plants to reduce yield, quality, 
or stand persistence, through competition 
for light, space, water, and nutrients. Weeds 
are more likely to be a problem during 
establishment, and again later in the life of 
the stand when the forage crop begins to 
decline. In these terms weeds in hayfields are 



being redefined since nonplanted species like 
many forbs have good quality and contribute 
to yield. However, rarely will these species 
have the same degree of value as the planted 
forage, yet are major parts of the soil seed bank. 
Weed management of haylands starts during 
establishment, after which plant competition 
is the major method used to reduce 
encroachment, seed production, and survival 
of weeds. Vigorous regrowth of the forage is 
critical since many weeds that have germinated 
before cutting become established in thin 
stands during the forage regrowth period. 
Weeds in monocultures can be controlled by 
an array of chemical herbicides (Barker et al., 
Chapter 2, this volume). 

Weeds are rarely controlled by chemicals 
in established stands except in alfalfa 
because weeds reduce yield and quality of 
this superior forage species (Doll, 1994). 
Foxtails, quackgrass, Canada thistle, pigweed, 
lambsquarters, mustard, and volunteer grains 
compete aggressively with alfalfa in summer 
and reduce forage quality and acceptance. 
Winter annual weeds such as henbit and 
chickweed shade the crowns overwinter and 
reduce plant vigor in spring, weakening the 
stand and allowing summer weeds to increase. 
Some weeds have good forage quality but 
will still reduce yield (Marten and Andersen, 
1975). An example is dandelion, which is an 
opportunist to become established and has 
upright leaves in thicker stands that extend 
more horizontally to remain very competitive 
as the alfalfa stand thins (Sheaffer and Wyse, 
1982). However, dandelion populations in 
alfalfa are associated positively with populations 
of Coleomegilla maculate, an insect that feeds 
on pea aphids to reduce their damage to alfalfa 
(Harmon et al., 2000). 

Weeds in either grass or legume monocultures 
can be effectively controlled with herbicides, 
while there are essentially no herbicides labeled 
for use on legume-grass mixtures. The primary 
and most cost-effective method of weed 
control in perennial forages is managing the 
forage crop to provide maximum competition 
against weeds. In the northern USA, weed 
encroachment in an established perennial 
forage stand is often only a side effect of a 
declining forage stand and can be used to help 
determine timing of crop rotation. Thinning 



u 



Weed 

management 

of haylands 

starts during 

establishment, 

after which plant 

competition is the 

major method 

used to reduce 

encroachment" 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Recently alfalfa 
cultivars with 
glyphosate 
resistance have 
been made 
available by 
private industry." 




FIGURE 4.1 1. Major linkages in a dairy-forage 
system focused on management for economic 
production of quality forage and stand life to meet 
nutritional requirements of lactating cows. Note 
nutrient management has a major effect on yield 
whereas harvest management affects yield, quality, 
and stand life. From Cherney and Cherney (1993). 



usually does not reach this stage in the first 2 
or 3 yr, so weed control is usually not used for 
short rotations. Weeds tend to be more effective 
competitors in southern regions where longer 
stand durations are preferred. 

Gaining maximum competition from forage 
crops begins with site selection, preferably 
one that has appropriate soil drainage, pH, 
and fertility for the forage crops involved 
(Fig. 4.1 1). Soil pH and soil fertility can be 
adjusted in advance of seeding to be optimal 
for the forages to be planted. Well-adapted 
cultivars should be selected. This is the 
most cost-effective method of weed control 
in established stands of perennial forages. 
Mowing is typically not very effective for 
reducing weed competition in established 
perennial forage stands not used as pastures. 
Weeds generally have a shorter development 
cycle than perennial forages, making it 
difficult to reduce seed production. Many 
perennial weeds require repeated mowing to 
weaken the plants, but this is not compatible 



with good forage harvest management 
schemes. A vigorous, healthy stand with an 
aggressive harvest management for high- 
quality forage will be beneficial for weed 
control. 

Recently alfalfa cultivars with glyphosate 
resistance have been made available by private 
industry. A small percentage of the individual 
plants in the cultivar will not be resistant 
because of the genetic nature of alfalfa, which 
does not allow pure lines to be developed 
like for annual crops. Even so, glyphosate- 
resistant cultivars can be an alternative tool 
for weed control during establishment of pure 
stands, and later to control weeds that increase 
during the life of the stand. Experiments in 
several states showed seeding-year yields were 
slightly lower at 6.7 kg ha 1 than seeding rates 
of 1 1.2, 15.7, or 20.2 kg ha" 1 (Hall et al., 
2010). Alfalfa plant density was similar, but 
more weed mass was in the control treatment 
without a commercial herbicide. Competition 
was the key control for the next year with 
little difference among control and herbicide 
treatments. Forage quality was not affected by 
the glyphosate cultivar or herbicide treatment. 
This suggested that lower seeding rates may be 
feasible with glyphosate-resistant cultivars. 

In other short-term experiments, with seeding 
rates as low as 4.5 kg ha" 1 in Missouri, 
glyphosate gave more consistent weed control 
because of its broad spectrum and had little 
direct effect on yield or quality of glyphosate- 
resistant alfalfa (Bradley et al, 2010). 
Alternatively, a long-term study in Michigan 
considered potential for extending stand life by 
controlling weeds as the alfalfa stand thinned 
in a natural pattern from 236 to only 27 
plants rrr 2 over the period of 8 yr (Min et al., 
2012). Forage quality was affected by cutting 
frequency but most years was not affected 
by weed removal by herbicide treatments. 
The stand thinned at a similar rate with and 
without herbicide treatment. Understanding 
economic value of using glyphosate-resistant 
cultivars in terms of lower seeding rates and 
extended stand longevity is warranted (Bradley 
etal, 2010). 

Overall, Agricultural Experiment Stations and 
the Cooperative Extension Service have done 
a good job of determining harvest schedules 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



that optimize economic return and stand 
longevity for major forage crops in the state or 
region. This includes research on timing of first 
harvest, frequency of harvests, optimal stubble 
height left after harvest, timing and rates of 
fertilizer regimens, managing for drought and 
winter stress, and determining effects of major 
weeds, diseases, and insect pests. In most cases, 
however, research evaluations are focused 
primarily on the yield, quality, and persistence 
of major species harvested for use as livestock 
feed. Further, most studies were conducted on 
flat sites with average or better soils. Except for 
some studies on erosion control and nutrient 
use, there has been little research attention 
given to environmental conservation and 
provision of other ecosystem services. 

Therefore, the question was addressed, "How 
much change occurs in economic returns when 
management goals are extended beyond yield, 
quality and persistence of monocultures or 
mixtures to incorporate the other purposes of 
the Practice Standard?" Focus was on those 
purposes associated with management decisions 
to improve the environment or provide more 
ecosystem services such as plant diversity and 
enhanced conditions for wildlife. Concurrently, 
issues of reduced production were considered 
while the forage serves as a soil nutrient uptake 
tool, improves control of insects, diseases, and 
weeds, and maintains or improves wildlife 
habitat. 

PURPOSE 6: MANAGE FORAGES 
TO MAINTAIN AND/OR IMPROVE 
WILDLIFE HABITAT 

Many options exist for landowners who need 
a stored forage supply but also want to provide 
habitat and food supplies for wildlife. Some US 
literature from the wildlife perspective supports 
alternative management practices, mainly time 
of cutting, and is usually focused on ground- 
nesting birds. Limited literature has caused 
several states to develop recommendations 
partly based on the combination of plant 
and wildlife research focused on food chains, 
nesting times, and desirable habitat. Minimal 
amounts of research are usually supplemented 
by intuition and experiential knowledge. This 
is clearly a stop-gap method, is usually focused 
on one or two wildlife species, and usually 
does not include effects on nonfocused wildlife 



or determining rational balances between 
production economics and providing habitat or 
food supplies for wildlife. 

Alfalfa 

Many worms, insects, rodents, and other 
animals live in or are attracted to hay fields 
for some of much of their life cycle. The most 
studied situation is alfalfa that is being cut for 
quality hay or silage. California studies show 
alfalfa provides good protection and supports 
varied food sources, especially insects, for 
hundreds of species of songbirds, swallows, 
bats, and many types of migratory birds 
including waterfowl (Putnam et al., 2001). 
This includes more than 150 resident species 
of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles. 
The high palatability of alfalfa, which makes it 
such a good dairy feed, also makes it desirable 
to many herbivores, including many species 
of insects, rodents, and grazing animals. It 
also provides protection and food for herbage 
consumers such as rabbits, voles, mice, 
and gophers. In turn, these birds and small 
mammals provide food for predators such as 
fox, hawks, and vultures. 

In the southern USA, alfalfa is being evaluated 
for wildlife plantings based on its high N 
fixation, good forage quality, and desirable 
canopy structure (Ball, 2010). Hardy plants 
can be grown in the South with occasional 
cutting to support regrowth and young forage 
for deer, birds, and other wild animals. Ball 
indicates the value of alfalfa used by wildlife 
is almost certainly underestimated by most 
farmers and the public. Until a few years ago 
conservation plantings focused on food grains, 
mainly annuals, in recommended planting 
mixes for food and habitat. Advances in disease 
resistance and introduction of grazing-tolerant 
cultivars of alfalfa have improved potentials for 
large herbivores. High forage quality helps milk 
production and reproduction of deer and other 
small mammals. Ball (2010) also points out 
the vast number of insects that reside in alfalfa 
fields that provide support for birds and other 
animals in the food chain. 

Thus, the alfalfa environment in many 
geographic regions supports a multiplicity of 
wildlife species in harmony with the growing 
canopy. The challenge, however, is that first 
harvest of alfalfa grown primarily for high yield 



u 



Many options 
exist for 
landowners who 
need a stored 
forage supply- 
but also want to 
provide habitat 
and food supplies 
for wildlife." 



Wild turkeys do well within 
managed areas. NRCS photo. 




CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 




Conservationist conducting 
a habitat survey for birds in 
Connecticut. NRCS photo by 
Paul Fusco. 



of high-quality feed occurs at early flower stages 
which coincide with nesting periods of many 
wildlife species in the Midwest and eastern 
states. The main disrupter is close and frequent 
harvests that rapidly change the habitat and 
food chain. This situation has become a greater 
problem following major genetic increases in 
winter hardiness and plant persistence that has 
led to earlier and more frequent harvests during 
the growing season. 

Research conducted several years ago in several 
Midwestern states, for example Leopold et al. 
(1943) in Wisconsin, Leedy and Hicks (1945) 
in Ohio, Baskett (1947) in Iowa, Trautman 
(1982) in South Dakota, and Warner (1981) 
in Illinois, pointed out first harvest of alfalfa 
destroys nests of ringnecked pheasants. In South 
Dakota the normal first cutting in mid-June 
killed 32% to 39% of the incubating hens and 
destroyed 86% to 91% of the nests (Trautman, 
1982). In contrast, a more recent long-term 



multistate evaluation including Illinois indicates 
if the trend toward earlier harvest of alfalfa 
continues, it will benefit pheasant, since first 
harvest will occur before the peak nesting period 
(Warner and Etter, 1989). 

Researchers in South Dakota evaluated yellow- 
flowered alfalfa (falcata types), which has tall 
growth, lodging resistance, and flowers over 
a longer period of time than sativa types, 
until 1 July or later (Boe et al., 1988). It was 
hypothesized that late maturity of falcata 
would help farmers stagger harvest dates for 
production in semiarid areas where one or two- 
cut systems are common and improve success 
of ground-nesting birds, especially pheasants, 
that attract hunters to the state. Synthetics that 
included falcata genetics were high yielding 
when harvested in mid- to late July, but quality 
was lower even though falcata types tended 
to have better resistance to potato leafhopper. 
Regrowth of falcata types was less than that 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



of conventional cultivars and could be grazed. 
Although falcata types have superior winter 
hardiness, they need to have improved quality 
for both wildlife and harvested forage. The 
major deterrent to use of falcata types is very 
poor seed production. 

Nesting water fowl were monitored in south- 
central North Dakota where about 57% of 
duck nests would hatch by 10 July, 78% by 
20 July, and 85% by 25 July. Other evidence 
indicated later maturity and harvest would 
maintain habitat for several species of grassland 
songbirds, allowing them to fledge at least one 
brood (Berdahl et al., 2004). 

Other Forage Species 

Other legumes are being considered for 
wildlife benefits, including native legumes, 
but little is known about their production and 
management. For example, native legumes 
such as wild bean are being evaluated in Texas 
and Oklahoma (Butler and Muir, 2010) 
for agronomic characters that need to be 
understood before there is further evaluation 
for wildlife benefits (Butler et al, 2006). 
Specific studies needed include rhizobia 
requirement, soil pH, P and K needs, forage 
and seed yield potentials, responses to cutting, 
and herbicide tolerance. These are critical since 
many of the native legumes have indeterminate 
flowering and seed pods that dehisce, which 
leads to poor seed harvest. The specific rhizobia 
also may be unknown or not available (Barker 
et al., Chapter 2, this volume) 

All 1 5 native legumes evaluated in Missouri 
had higher protein and lower neutral detergent 
fiber concentrations than did switchgrass, big 
bluestem, and indiangrass (McGraw et al, 
2004). Legumes were inoculated by use of soil 
from areas with dense plant populations. Based 
on forage yield, quality, and seed production, 
Illinois bundleflower had the greatest potential 
for use in mixtures with native warm-season 
grasses. In Kansas, Posler et al. (1993) evaluated 
yield and quality of binary mixtures of five 
native legumes and three native warm-season 
grasses. Addition of legumes increased yield and 
protein concentration of the mixture, but not 
digestibility. Once agronomic characteristics 
are known, legume-grass mixtures can be tested 
in management systems with potential to favor 
wildlife. 



A modeling effort in Mississippi considered 
preferences of white- tailed deer for soil resources 
and forage quality (species not reported) (Jones 
et al, 2010). Principle component analysis 
showed deer abundance increased as soil fertility 
and forage quality increased, with these two 
variables contributing 58% of the variation in 
body mass and 52% in antler score. Further, 
based on general linear models the soil resource 
components explained 78% and 61% of the 
variation, respectively. Greater forage availability 
and quality likely provide a better nutritional 
plane for herbivores (Strickland and Demarais, 
2008). Calcium may have also been important. 
Most studies on wildlife evaluate plant density 
and an estimate of quality without documenting 
the soil resource that likely has both direct 
and indirect effects on structure of habitat and 
quality of the food supply. 

A detailed review of relationships between 
modern agricultural practices in Europe and 
decline in wildlife species gives insight to key 
principles (Wilson et al., 2005). The authors 
concluded that agricultural practices have 
negatively affected diversity of birds, mammals, 
arthropods and flowering plants. The major 
effect of intensification has been on crop 
structure that is now based on a few plant 
species. Forages are harvested more frequently 
or grazed more intensively; grain crops are 
shorter, but have dense structure after harvest 
due to N fertilization. The authors focused 
mainly on birds and indicate protection, food 
sources, and amount of intercepted solar 
insolation for temperature control of wildlife 
are critical. 

In general, grazing is favored by many 
wildlife species over cutting because it leaves 
a heterogeneous sward of vegetation mosaics 
(Wilson et al., 2005). These swards, especially 
if somewhat sparse, have bare ground and seed 
abundance. Some birds depend on nearby 
trees or shrubs for protection. In one study 
15 of the 20 key "farmland bird species" 
benefited more from shorter heterogeneous 
swards for foraging and detection of predators. 
Each bird species reacts differently, however, 
indicating one crop management system will 
not favor all. They concluded that structure 
should be emphasized in crop management 
with adjacent areas set aside to be managed for 
food supplies. 



u 



The main 

disrupter is close 

and frequent 

harvests that 

rapidly change 

the habitat and 

food chain." 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Wildlife biologists 
for most states 
in the USA 
have substantial 
research data for 
nesting dates, 
food sources, and 
desirable habitats 
for a range of 
bird species" 



A similar conclusion was reached by Roth et 
al. (2005) in Wisconsin after their evaluation 
of a biomass harvest of switchgrass in August. 
Interestingly, they focused on the population 
of grassland birds the following year. Harvested 
plants had shorter vegetation and lower density 
the next year than did areas that were not 
harvested. The shorter areas were preferred 
by grassland birds whereas tall material was 
preferred by tall-grass bird species. They suggest 
it would be advantageous for bird populations 
to not harvest some field areas each year so 
they could provide habitat for a wider range 
of available structure and to increase local 
diversity of grassland birds. 

Wildlife biologists for most states in the USA 
have substantial research data for nesting 
dates, food sources, and desirable habitats for 
a range of bird species (see Table A A). Thus, 
recommendations for forage harvest are based 
primarily on needs of wildlife, mostly on 
habitat associated with nesting times, with 
few data on concomitant influences on forage 
yield and quality. Several state conservation 
departments have published guidelines for 
farmers who desire forage species that are more 
compatible or can be managed as hay and 
silage crops in ways that are least disruptive to 
wildlife (e.g., Ochterski, 2006, in New York; 
Anon, 2010, in Pennsylvania; Anon., 2012, in 
Missouri). 

General recommendations for hay harvests 
to support wildlife are usually based on birds 
and are quite similar to the representative 
one for nesting habits from Pennsylvania 
(Table 4A), with emphasis on life cycles of 
prevalent wildlife for each particular state. 
Using Pennsylvania recommendations as a 
general template, the emphases on species and 
preferred harvest management include the 
following: 

1. Cutting some forage grasses or legumes 
for hay or silage at the peak of production 
may be compatible with habitat value of 
some wildlife, but the best mowing times 
and heights depend on forage species and 
desired wildlife. 

2. Some areas of forage legumes should be cut 
very early, before nesting begins, or late, 
after nesting ends. These mowing strategies 
may be beneficial since most forage is 



harvested in a timely way for forage value, 
while other areas are left to favor wildlife. 
Mowing cool-season grasses at the boot 
stage in May minimizes effects of mowing 
on most nesting wildlife by allowing some 
regrowth prior to peak nesting season 
(June-July). Sensitive periods for major 
wildlife have been defined (see Table 4A 
for Pennsylvania). 
Cutting cool-season grasses late, for 
example, first cut during June and July, 
may destroy nests and kill young wildlife, 
and hay quality will be lower than when 
cut at early heading. 
Native warm-season grasses (e.g., 
indiangrass, switchgrass, big bluestem, 
Eastern gamagrass) mature later than most 
cool-season grasses (Fig. 4.10) and should 
be cut during the early seedhead stage, 
when their nutritional yield is greatest. 
These grasses usually have peak growth 
during mid- to late summer after the main 
nesting periods. Thus, cutting time of 
warm-season grasses is usually less of an 
issue for wildlife but should occur between 
1 and 1 5 Aug. 

Native warm-season grasses provide 
excellent food and year-round cover for 
wildlife. Forage should be cut to leave 
25 cm of stubble, and subsequent use 
should allow regrowth of 25-30 cm before 
the first killing frost to provide adequate 
winter cover for grassland wildlife 
(Fig. 4.2. in Nebraska). 
Occasional disturbance from mowing, 
burning, spraying, or disking is needed 
to maintain a native grass field. Without 
disturbances, succession will cause 
the grassland to be replaced by woody 
vegetation causing wildlife that require 
grassland or meadow habitat to be replaced 
by more common woodland wildlife. 
Mowing to control "weeds" may not be 
beneficial for some wildlife. Controlling 
plants such as thistles is important, but 
many "weeds" such as nettles, foxtail, and 
ragweed are palatable to wildlife or attract 
insects needed to meet diet requirements 
of many bird species. The goal is to provide 
a balance between volunteer forbs (weeds) 
and other desirable forage plants to provide 
diversity. 

Field borders are valuable to wildlife and 
can be simulated by squaring off the 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



inner portion of irregular-shaped fields 
for regular harvests. Delaying mowing the 
angled spaces until August or leaving a 
10-m border along wooded areas or fence 
rows helps provide habitat and food. These 
outer areas are often less productive for 
hay, dry slowly, or have fallen branches that 
can damage haying equipment. 

Types of Mowing Patterns 

Many state agencies that are responsible for 
wildlife conservation recommend considering 
three main types of mowing: 1) Block mowing 
involves dividing fields into three or four blocks 
that are mowed on a rotational schedule. This 
allows different growth stages of forage to exist 
within a large field. 2) Strip mowing involves 
dividing a field into strips with fixed or variable 
widths. A proportion of strips should be 
harvested each year, but switched annually such 
that a given strip is not mowed in consecutive 
years. 3) Random-pattern mowing involves 
dividing a field into several irregularly shaped 
patterns assigned to provide cut and not-cut 
vegetation cover. Each area should be harvested 
rotationally over years to have a 3-5 yr harvest 
cycle, primarily to reduce encroachment of 
woody vegetation. 

Regardless of the type or pattern used for 
mowing, the not-mowed areas or strips should 
be at least 30 m wide and consist of at least 
0.25 ha. Blocks or strips that are too small or 
too narrow can serve as "habitat sinks," making 
it easier for predators to hunt the small animals 
that the land manager desires as outcomes from 
the habitat management objectives. 

Most of these practices have not been 
researched using established methods to gain 
supporting data for the forage resource or other 
ecosystem services, yet they can be considered 
as "logical uses" of the technology based on 
life cycles of forage species, desirable wildlife 
species, food chains, and predators. This focus 
tends to promote managing the forage resource 
less intensively, which may be acceptable to 
landowners who are willing to sacrifice income 
to accommodate increased plant and wildlife 
diversity. 

Alternatives to Mowing 

An acceptable alternative to mowing is spot 
spraying grass stands with selective herbicides 



TABLE 4.4. Common nesting periods in Pennsylvania 
for a range of wildlife species (Anon., 2010). 



Wildlife: 


Nesting period 


White-tailed deer 


1 5 May to 1 5 July 


Eastern cottontail rabbit 


1 Feb. to 30 Sept. 


Wild turkey 


15 April to 31 July 


Bobwhite quail 


15 April to 31 July 


Ring-necked pheasant 


15 April to 30 June 


Grassland songbirds: 


Eastern meadowlark 


1 5 May to 3 1 July 


Grasshopper sparrow 


1 June to 15 Aug. 


Field sparrow 


15 May to 15 Aug. 


Bobolink 


15 May to 30 June 


Dickcissel 


1 June to 31 July 



to control noxious weeds and woody plant 
invasion. This is most critical during the 
establishment period of grass stands when 
competition is low and outbreaks can be treated 
at first detection. Use of selective herbicides 
before and after grass/legume plantings helps 
control noxious weeds to establish a successful 
stand, but there are few herbicides for grass/ 
legume fields. Random or strip spraying may 
be performed throughout the year taking care 
to not damage the established forage stand. 
Herbicide spraying can be used on random 
patches or fixed strips within a field. 

Strip or rotational disking is a simple, effective, 
and inexpensive tool to manage wildlife 
habitat. In strip disking, a disk or harrow is 
used to create ground disturbance in strips 
to reduce natural succession by breaking up 
grassy vegetation. Disking opens up grass 
stands, reduces thick mats of thatch, stimulates 
germination of seed-producing plants, and 
increases insect populations as a wildlife food 
source. But even light tillage will increase loss 
of organic carbon from the soil. 

Prescribed burning is an alternative to mowing, 
especially when managing many larger fields 
of native perennial warm-season grasses. 
Controlled fire using approved methods and 
safety precautions sets back natural succession 
and releases nutrients to stimulate growth 
of valuable grasses and legumes. Prescribed 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Few US studies 
have evaluated 
both forage 
and wildlife 
in the same 
experiment." 



burning is less expensive and time consuming 
than mowing and produces many wildlife and 
forage benefits. However, prescribed burning 
requires careful planning and controlled 
conditions to be an effective management tool. 
An early season burn works well for perennial 
warm-season grasses. Improved technologies 
are needed, especially those addressing timing 
of burning, which is not well defined for cool- 
season grasses. 

Few US studies have evaluated both forage and 
wildlife in the same experiment. In Quebec, 
20% of North American wood turtles in a 
mixed-species hayfield were killed by mechanical 
harvest of first growth with a disc mower 
(Saumure et al., 2007). In addition, 90% of 
adults that survived and 57% of juveniles were 
mutilated. The turtles leave the grassland area 
before second harvest. They recommend that 
cutting height of disc mowers be increased to 
100 mm since most turtles are < 87 mm high. 
Sickle-bar mowers cause less death and damage 
since sickle guards tend to move turtles away 
from the sickle, albeit with some injury. The 
authors cite data that a higher cutting height 
would also reduce wear on the harvester, result 
in higher quality forage with less stem, and 
provide more rapid regrowth. Also, the taller 
stubble would reduce runoff and soil erosion. 
Understanding interactions among these 
socioeconomic values in the same experiment is 
needed (Warner and Brady, 1996). 

More emphasis has been placed on assessment 
of wildlife needs in areas with large tracts of 
public lands, where grazing predominates. On 
most public lands, and many private lands, 
there is direct competition between livestock 
and wildlife (Cory and Martin, 1985). Loomis 
et al. (1989) derived a demand curve using 
a regional travel cost model to statistically 
estimate marginal value of land for either 
livestock or wildlife use. Estimates of economic 
values of forage for elk and deer in Idaho were 
generated with this method. Loomis et al. 
found that marginal forage values of deer and 
elk sometimes exceed livestock forage values. 
They suggested that wildlife habitat issues 
should play a major role in determining seasons 
of use and optimal stocking levels for ranges. 
Similar methods could be used to assess the 
relative cost effectiveness of modifying forage 
harvest regimes to benefit wildlife. 



In Nova Scotia a holistic approach to ecosystem 
services involved fledgling success of ground- 
nesting birds and forage quality of first harvest 
of a mixture of timothy, meadow foxtail, several 
bluegrasses, and reed canarygrass. Delaying 
cutting from 20 June to 1 July increased 
fledgling from up to 20% for bobolink, 56% 
for savannah sparrow, and 44% for Nelson's 
sharp-tailed sparrow. Delaying cutting to 7 July 
allowed maximum fledgling rates for all species. 
Protein concentration of forage on 20 June had 
decreased by 2.1 percentage units by 1 July and 
by 3.5 percentage units by 7 July, whereas acid 
detergent fiber gradually increased. Calcium 
and phosphorus remained rather constant. 
They concluded forage quality decreased when 
cutting was delayed but was still sufficient for 
many classes of livestock. Unfortunately they 
did not report changes in forage yields that 
would help in economic assessments. 

In summary, despite growing public interest 
and implied responsibility of land owners to 
support wildlife, there are very few data for 
specific practices. In most cases the practice 
that would support one or a few species of 
wildlife could be to the detriment of other 
species. The literature tends to show habitat 
may be the most critical factor regarding 
harvest management compared with food 
supplies (Wilson et al., 2005). Timing of 
harvest to avoid the nesting period, especially 
the first harvest each year, is critical for most 
grassland birds. Since landowner goals are a 
major part of selection of conservation practices 
to be implemented, landowners should be 
aware of effects of a management practice on 
various types or forms of desired wildlife. In 
some cases, managing stubble height for water 
management and erosion control may be 
beneficial to some wildlife and detrimental to 
other types (Sollenberger et al., Chapter 3, this 
volume). An overriding challenge is the need to 
evaluate forage production issues and wildlife 
systems in the same experiment. Overall, there 
will be no easy answers; wildlife species that 
are most desired need to be identified early 
and given appropriate priority in management 
decisions. 

Fortunately most states have rather good 
data on life cycles, especially nesting habits, 
of birds that frequent hayfields in the region. 
That information, and needs for structure and 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



habitat at certain times of the year, e.g., winter, 
should allow wildlife biologists, agronomists, 
and animal scientists to develop experiments 
to validate the observations. Soils should not 
be overlooked since production capacity and 
environmental stability, especially on low- 
productivity and sloping sites, may be key 
areas where multiple functions of haylands 
are best accomplished. Above all, one or more 
common denominators for forage value and 
ecosystem services need to be developed that 
allow objective as well as subjective assessments 
of desired outcomes from implementation of a 
conservation practice. 

ACHIEVING MULTIPLE GOALS BY 
FORAGE HARVEST MANAGEMENT 

There is movement among the public and 
policy makers that forages and other land 
management systems need to achieve multiple 
goals that contribute to sustainability and 
resilience of ecosystems and efficient use 
of natural resources. This context goes well 
beyond production and extends to broader and 
long-term food system goals. In this case, roles 
and management of forages for hay and silage 
play a critical part in the matrix of activities 
on the landscape that help facilitate these 
goals. Future practice standards will need to 
address these multiple objectives as they grow 
in importance, and as new research points the 
way for solutions and compromises among 
competitive goals. This requires scaling up to 
whole-farm systems, and beyond, to integrate 
the land used for hay and silage production 
into the larger picture involving economic 
returns, conservation of resources, and 
providing other services for the public. 

Nutrient Balance for Livestock 

Nutrient balance within a livestock farm is 
essential for sustainable, economically feasible 
livestock production where hay and silage are 
often important components of the system. 
Home-grown forages benefit nutrient balance 
by removing excess nutrients from the soil 
and serving as a repository for manures to 
minimize import of nutrients from off-farm. 
Grazing can be utilized as an efficient forage 
harvesting system; however, most farms require 
some forage be harvested and stored for later 
use. Harvest management controls both forage 
yield and quality and has a strong influence on 



stand life (Fig. 4.1 1). It also affects outputs of 
ecosystem services such as water quality and 
wildlife diversity. 

Regardless of harvest time, two primary 
methods of storage are silage (Buxton et 
al, 2003) and dry hay (Hall et al., 2007). 
Management prior to harvest is similar for 
forage that is to be stored as silage or hay, but 
harvest and storage losses of nutrients are greatly 
affected by forage composition and the specific 
details of the harvest and storage processes (Fig. 
4.9). Agricultural Experiment Stations have 
developed good management recommendations 
for harvest of hay or silage for major forage 
species and popular mixtures that are adapted 
and used in that respective state. Invariably 
recommendations are based on basic principles 
of forage management and are supported 
by field research that is often published 
in semitechnical outlets for practitioners. 
Guidelines for reducing storage losses are not 
common among all states, yet these losses affect 
feed quantity and quality in negative ways and 
need to be managed to minimize losses. 

Forage Contributions to Precision Feed 
Management 

Recently attempts have been made to combine 
environmental and economic sustainability 
with feeding management, referred to as either 
precision feeding or precision feed management 
(Ghebremichael et al., 2007). The two 
primary concepts involved are 1) use diets that 
maximize forage and homegrown feeds diets 
and 2) ensure nutrient contents for optimum 
production without overfeeding. Goals are to 
1) improve nutrient efficiency and economic 
returns, 2) optimize the balance between 
purchased feed nutrient imports and on-farm 
feed production, and 3) minimize nutrient 
overfeeding and nutrient excretion (Cerosaletti 
and Dewing, 2008) (Fig. 4.11). Nutrients 
must be fed slightly above requirements to 
accommodate daily variations, but any excess N 
or P in the diet is excreted by the animal. 

Precision feeding is based on measurable 
characteristics and requires monitoring and 
effective record keeping (Fig. 4.12). A cropping 
plan is designed to match available land 
resources, output needs of the farm, and the 
farms conservation plan. Available machinery, 
labor, and storage facilities are evaluated to 



u 



Recently attempts 

have been made 

to combine 

environmental 

and economic 

sustainability 

with feeding 

management" 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



monitoring and 
record keeping 
involved with 
precision feed 
management will 
minimize nutrient 
losses in the 
system." 













Precision Feed Manaqement: 




The Process 




/ \ 

Precision Diet Formulation Improved Homegrown 
and Delivery Forage Prodjction 

X I 

deduced Nutrient Overfeeding implementation of 
Improved Nutrient Utilization High Forage Dints 

\ • 






- Reduced Purchased Feed Nutrient Imports 

- Reduced Manure Nutrient Excretions 

- Reduced Nutrient Accumulations 

- Improved Farm Profitability 











FIGURE 4.12. Precision feed management helps 
balance nutrient supply from forages to prevent 
overfeeding and to maximize use of on-farm 
forages in the diet. The end result is high efficiency 
of forage use and provision of areas where 
manures can be recycled on the farm. From 
Cerosaletti and Dewing (2008). 



determine if the farm has the capacity to 
harvest the desired quantity and quality of 
forage in a timely manner and allow for proper 
storage and allocation of feeds (see next section 
on modeling). Benchmarks for forages to be 
successful with dairy cattle (Cerosaletti and 
Dewing, 2008) are the following: 



1. 

2. 
3. 



5. 
6 

7. 



Neutral detergent fiber intake > 0.9% of 

body weight 

Forage goal > 60% of the diet dry matter 

Homegrown feed goal > 60% of the diet 

Phosphorus in ration < 105% of animal P 

requirement 

Crude protein in diet < 16.5% 

Urea N in milk produced, 8-12 mg dL 1 

Calving interval < 13 months 

Less than 5% of cows die or culled at < 60 

days in milk. 



Compared to conventional ways, precision 
feeding of lactating dairy cows reduced P 
concentrations in manure by 33%, showing 
potential for a major impact on P imports in 
watersheds where dairy farming is the primary 
agricultural activity (Cerosaletti et al., 2004). 
A primary requirement for precision feed 
management is harvest of high-quality forage, 
coupled with nutrient management (Cherney 
and Kallenbach, 2007). Hay and haylage 
quality goals for grasses are approximately 
50-55% NDF and 38-40% NDF for alfalfa. 



Goals for alfalfa-grass mixtures are intermediate 
and a function of the proportion of grass in 
the stand (Cherney et al., 2006). Nutrient 
management is an integral component of 
this process, leading to high yields of highly 
digestible forage that is free of toxins and severe 
mineral imbalances. 

Forage mixtures (e.g., alfalfa-grass) can 
provide high-quality forage for dairy cattle 
while eliminating or minimizing fertilizer N 
inputs and maximizing protection from both 
runoff and leaching. Grass species that are 
sod forming with robust root systems, such as 
reed canarygrass, will minimize runoff. Species 
such as timothy, with much lower apparent 
N recovery (ANR) and lower CP content, 
require more supplemental N in cattle diets 
and should be avoided. Strict guidelines for 
manure applications on forage crops will 
minimize environmental concerns and animal 
pathogen issues. Partial incorporation of 
manure on forage lands will minimize surface 
runoff risk. Increased number of harvests will 
increase ANR and increase forage quality for 
precision feed management. The monitoring 
and record keeping involved with precision 
feed management will minimize nutrient 
losses in the system. A harvest management 
that provides high-quality forage is essential. 

Special attempts need to be added to precision 
feed management strategies on dairy farms to 
meet the purposes and criteria. Environmental 
and wildlife goals implied in conservation 
Standard Code 511 should include practices 
for fields harvested for hay and/or silage. Each 
field is expected to contribute these services 
and be managed to realize them. The flexible 
harvest/grazing management strategy can be 
adjusted to meet multiple objectives including 
soil erosion, manure management, other 
nutrient management, water quality, and 
wildlife. Each of these needs a balance sheet 
or diagram to show the various interactions 
that could occur due to the management 
system employed. This would also allow the 
planner to understand if yield, quality, or 
stand life would be the major factor altered. 
Thus, there is a need for modeling efforts to 
help understand the interactions. Research 
efforts in combination with other data such as 
rainfall, temperature, and soil properties are 
critical (Nelson, Chapter 6, this volume). 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



Similar guidelines for having successful whole 
farm systems have been considered for beef 
production (Allen et al, 1992, 2000; Allen and 
Collins, 2003). Components for beef cattle 
differ from those for dairy cattle since grazing 
is a larger part of forage use (Sanderson et 
al., Chapter 1, this volume), but some hay or 
silage is required causing the need for another 
set of data inputs for integration of practices 
and desired outcomes. For example, compared 
with a dairy farm, primary forage and livestock 
breeds on a beef farm are different; pastures 
are the dominant feed source, priority for high 
forage quality may be lower, the soil resource 
may have lower inherent yield potential, the 
primary focus is on weight gain, most manure 
is deposited nonuniformly on pastures, and 
areas used for hay or silage production may also 
be grazed part of the year. Further, provisions of 
desired ecosystem outputs by the beef producer 
may involve priorities that differ from those of 
dairy farmers. 

These interactions among different goals and 
the methods to achieve them indicate a need 
for broad education over a range of outputs and 
strategies. Once goals are defined, application 
of models that evaluate interactions among 
major inputs and outputs would be valuable. 
Education programs should be put into place 
to help landowners prioritize desired outputs 
and ways to best achieve them. This should 
then be followed with periodic monitoring 
to determine if the practice is working 
and to assist the landowner apply adaptive 
management practices to sustain effectiveness 
of the installed practice. 

Use of Comprehensive Models 

Modeling was introduced to forage 
management several years ago with the primary 
focus on a single component of the entire 
system even though it had limitations (Debertin 
and Pagoulatos, 1985). They used a model to 
focus on alfalfa and crop management within 
the context of a total farm plan for west-central 
Kentucky when alfalfa was harvested 3, 4, or 
5 times annually. They found the five-harvest 
system competed with crop production for time 
and equipment at the desired planting period, 
especially in a wheat-soybean double crop 
situation, which could lead to harvest delay and 
reduced forage quality. It was clear that the best 
management for alfalfa could not be realized 



when the entire farm was considered. In fact, 
in some scenarios, due to challenges with time 
management, some of the forage could not 
be harvested. They found tradeoffs would be 
necessary to achieve most of the goals. 

More recently Rotz et al. (1989) have led efforts 
to develop models that integrate numerous 
aspects of forage management on a whole 
farm as a comprehensive system. Examples 
include manure application methods (Rotz 
et al, 201 1), carbon footprints (Rotz et al., 
2010), greenhouse gas emissions (Chianese et 
al., 2009), and phosphorus losses (Sedorovich 
et al, 2007). This research also shows it may 
be very difficult to achieve and maintain high 
forage productivity and quality simultaneously 
with needs of other enterprises on the farm. 
Therefore, these models allow some economic 
analyses of competing enterprises such as 
row crops within a whole farm comparison. 
Computer capabilities and better programs 
have added to potentials of models for planning 
and evaluation of conservation practices. 
Integrated crop-livestock systems for the 
future may occur within a farm and more 
likely among farms that occupy watersheds or 
other basal units. These complex systems will 
require sophisticated computer programs to 
enhance both profitability and environmental 
sustainability (Russelle et al, 2007). 

CONCLUSIONS 

For assessment of each purpose the various 
criteria and goals were listed and then evaluated 
according to amount and comprehensiveness 
of published data. In some cases there are 
ample data for national standards and thus 
summarized as being adequate (Table 4.1). In 
other cases there were few or no data available, 
in which case the summation indicates a 
specific need and in some cases for specific 
types of data. Some criteria had intermediate 
levels of support, and the strengths and 
deficiencies were pointed out. Overall, the 
evaluation team felt most production purposes 
on major species were supported strongly by 
the published research data. At the same time 
it was recognized and noted that most local 
applications of basic principles were developed 
from local experiments that were published in 
nonrefereed publications, yet were consistent 
with the basic literature. 



u 



Once goals 

are defined, 

application 

of models 

that evaluate 

interactions 

among major 

inputs and 

outputs would 

be valuable." 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



u 



Assessing goals is 
even more critical 
during monitoring 
of the installed 
practice to ensure 
it is working as 
planned." 



In all cases it was clear that the published 
data would not answer all the questions that 
could arise as the field site was evaluated and 
a structure or practice was proposed and 
implemented. While species differences were 
apparent, the most notable factor was harvest 
practices to address environmental concerns 
such as soil erosion, water quality, and climate 
change. In these cases, the experience and 
intuition of the professional would need 
to play a larger role by adjusting for local 
soils, climates, and the local public interests. 
There was very little research on the roles of 
harvest management on wildlife, except for 
nesting patterns, and often the research was 
on success of only the target species. Little 
data were presented on habitat, competition 
among wildlife for food sources, and effects of 
management on predators. Comprehensive, 
large-scale research studies utilizing diverse 
scientists are needed to obtain the correct data 
to fully evaluate the ecosystem and its outputs. 

More technical understanding can play a large 
role in evaluation and planning even if research 
is not available. Specialization is needed for 
evaluation and implementing practices, but 
broad education is needed to evaluate how the 
practice will affect the physical environment 
and local wildlife. Discussions are needed 
among scientists and professionals to discuss 
the implications of the program goals based 
on simple studies and experience-based 
knowledge, and the landowner needs to be 
involved. Assessing goals is even more critical 
during monitoring of the installed practice to 
ensure it is working as planned. Some results 
may be achieved quickly, while other outcomes 
may take several years to become fully credible. 
Unfortunately nearly all the research is short 
term, whereas most conservation practices 
should be long term and have measurable 
outcomes. Monitoring will be a great asset to 
the understanding of the practice and what 
happens over time after the practice is installed 
(Easton et al., 2008). 

There is a gap in the research between those 
interested in production and those scientists 
interested in environmental issues or wildlife 
issues. Too many research papers focus on one 
aspect with little consideration of the others. 
For example, we saw many papers addressing 
major forage management issues with good 



plant data without enough environmental or 
wildlife data to document treatment effects. 
Conversely, there were detailed studies of bird 
populations and nesting without quantitative 
data to describe the forage and soil condition. 
Incentives are needed to ensure the research is 
comprehensive and of sufficient duration to 
fully document the responses. 

Further, the management effects appear to 
be somewhat specific relative to optimal 
environmental results and/or wildlife results. 
There are other interactions that may offset 
environmental and wildlife goals of the 
landowner. In that sense, there is a need to 
construct practical models to evaluate the 
interactions and determine the cost-benefit 
relationships of competing outcomes. Clearly 
the landowners may differ in their expected 
"returns" from implementing a conservation 
practice. These are dealt with in more detail in 
the synthesis chapter (Nelson, Chapter 6, this 
volume). 

Literature Cited 

Allen, V.G., and M. Collins. 2003. Grazing 
management systems, p. 473—501. In R.F Barnes 
et al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction to grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, Ames, IA. 

Allen, V.G., J. P. Fontenot, and RA. Brock. 2000. 
Forage systems for production of stocker steers in 
the upper South./. Anim. Sci. 78:1973-1982. 

Allen, V.G., J. P. Fontenot, D.R. Notter, and 
R.C. Hammes. 1992. Forage systems for beef 
production from conception to slaughter: I. 
Cow-calf production. /. Anim. Sci. 70:576-587. 

Allen, V.G., R.K. Heitschmidt, and L.E. 
Sollenberger 2007. Grazing systems and 
strategies, p. 709-729. In R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) 
Forages: The science of grassland agriculture. 6th 
ed. Blackwell, Ames, IA. 

Anderson, B., and A.G. Matches. 1983. Forage 
yield, quality and persistence of switchgrass and 
Caucasian bluestem. Agron. J. 75:1 19-124. 

Anderson, B., and C.A. Shapiro. 1990. 

Fertilizing grass pastures and haylands. Coop. 
Ext. NebGuide G78-406. University of 
Nebraska— Lincoln, NE. 

Anon. 2010. Mowing and wildlife: Managing 
open space for wildlife species. Pennsylvania 
Game Commission, Harrisburg, PA. 

Anon. 2012. Native warm-season grasses for 
wildlife. Missouri Department of Conservation, 
Jefferson City, MO. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



Bailey, R.G. 1996. Ecosystem geography. 
Springer- Verlag, New York. 

Balasko, J.A., and C.J. Nelson. 2003. Grasses 
for northern areas, p. 125-148. In R.F Barnes et 
al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction to grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, Ames, IA. 

Ball, D. 2010. Growing alfalfa for wildlife, p. 
31-34. In G. Lacefield and C. Forsythe (ed.) 
Kentucky Alfalfa Conf. Proc. 30 (2). University 
of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. 

Barker, D.J. , and M. Collins. 2003. Forage 
fertilization and nutrient management, p. 
263-293. In R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: An 
introduction to grassland agriculture. 6th ed. 
Iowa State Press, Ames, IA. 

Barnes, R.F, C.J. Nelson, M. Collins, and K.J. 
Moore (ed.) 2003. Forages: An introduction to 
grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, 
Ames, IA. 

Barnhart, S.K. 2004. Steps to establish and 
maintain legume-grass pastures. Iowa State 
University Extension, Agronomy 3-3. Ames, IA. 

Barnhart, S.K., and L. Sternweis. 2009. 
Converting to pasture or hay — Forage seeding 
mixtures. Iowa State University, University 
Extension CRP-13. 

Baron, V.S., and G. Belanger 2007. Climate 
and forage adaptation, p. 83-104. In R.F Barnes 
et al. (ed.) Forages: The science of grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed. Blackwell, Ames, IA. 

Baskett, T.S. 1947. Nesting and production of 
the ring-necked pheasant in north-central Iowa. 
EcoLMonogr. 17:1-30. 

Belesky, D.P, and J.M. Fedders. 1995. Warm- 
season grass productivity and growth rate as 
influenced by canopy management. Agron. J. 
87:42-48. 

Berdahl, J.D., J.F. Karn, and J.R. Hendrickson. 
2004. Nutritive quality of cool-season grass 
monocultures and binary grass-alfalfa mixtures at 
late harvest. Agron. J. 96:951-955. 

Berg, W.K., S.M. Cunningham, S.M. Brouder, 
B.C. Joern, et al. 2007. The long-term impact 
of phosphorus and potassium fertilization on 
alfalfa yield and yield components. Crop Sci. 
47:2198-2209. 

Beuselinck, PR., J.H. Bouton, W.O. Lamp, 
A.G. Matches, et al. 1994. Improving legume 
persistence in forage crop systems. /. Prod. Agric. 
7:311-322. 

Bjelland, D.W., KA. Weigel, PC Hoffman, 
N.M. Esser, et al. 201 1. Production, 
reproduction, health, and growth traits in 
backcross Holstein x Jersey cows and their 



Holstein contemporaries./. Dairy Sci. 94:5194— 
5203. 

Boe, A., R. Bortman, KF. Higgins, A.R. Kruse, 
et al. 1988. Breeding yellow-flowered alfalfa for 
combined wildlife habitat and forage purposes. 
South Dakota Agric. Exp. Stn. Bull. 727. 

Booysen, P. de V., and C.J. Nelson. 1975. Leaf 
area and carbohydrate reserves in regrowth of tall 
fescue. Crop Sci. 15:262-266. 

Bouton, J.H. , G.C.M. Latch, N.S. Hill, C.S. 
Hoveland, et al. 2002. Reinfection of tall fescue 
cultivars with non-ergot alkaloid-producing 
endophytes. Agron. J. 94:567-574. 

Bradley, K, R. Kallenbach, and C.A. Roberts. 
2010. Influence of seeding rate and herbicide 
treatments on weed control, yield and quality of 
spring-seeded glyphosate-resistant alfalfa. Agron. 
J. 102:751-758. 

Brink, G., M. Hall, G. Shewmaker, D. 

Undersander, et al. 2010. Changes in alfalfa 
yield and nutritive value within individual 
harvest periods. Agron. J. 102:1274-1282. 

Brown, J.R. 1996. Fertility management of 
harvested forages in the northern states, p. 
93-1 12. In Proc. Symp. Nutrient Cycling in 
Forage Systems, Columbia, MO. 7—8 March 
1996. Foundation for Agronomic Research, 
Manhattan, KS. 

Burger, A.W., JA. Jacobs, and C.N. Hittle. 
1962. The effect of height and frequency of 
cutting on the yield and botanical composition 
of smooth bromegrass and orchardgrass 
mixtures. Agron. J. 54:23-26. 

Burns, J.C., H.F. Mayland, and D.S. Fisher 
2005. Dry matter intake and digestion of alfalfa 
harvested at sunset and sunrise. /. Anim. Sci. 
83:262-270. 

Butler, T., M.D. Porter, L. Stevens, and J. P. 
Muir 2006. Utilization of forages by wildlife. 
Agron. Abstr. 71—75. 

Butler, T.J., and J.R Muir. 2010. 'Rio Rojo' 
smooth seeded wild bean, a native annual forage 
legume./. Plant Reg. 4:103-105. 

Butler, T.J., J.R Muir, M.A. Islam, and J.R. 
Bow. 2007. Rhizoma peanut yield and nutritive 
value are influenced by harvest technique and 
timing. Agron. J. 99:1559-1563. 

Buxton, D.R. 1990. Cell-wall components in 
divergent germplasm of four perennial forage 
grass species. Crop Sci. 30:402-408. 

Buxton, D.R, and M.D. Casler 1993. 

Environmental and genetic effects on cell-wall 
composition and digestibility, p. 685-714. In 
H.G. Jung et al. (ed.) Forage cell wall structure 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



and digestibility. ASA, CSSA and SSSA, 

Madison, WI. 
Buxton, D.R., and J.S. Hornstein. 1986. Cell 

wall concentration and components in stratified 

canopies of alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, and red 

clover. CropSci. 26:180-184. 
Buxton, D.R., J.S. Hornstein, W.F. Wedin, and 

G.C. Narten. 1985. Forage quality in stratified 

canopies of alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, and red 

clover. Crop Sci. 25:273-279. 
Buxton, D.R., and G.C. Marten. 1989. Forage 

quality of plant parts of perennial grasses and 

relationships to phenology. Crop Sci. 29:429- 

435. 
Buxton, D.R., R.E. Muck, and J.H. Harrison. 

2003. Silage science and technology. Agron. 
Mono. 42. ASA, CSSA, SSSA. Madison, WI. 

Caddel, J., J. Stritzke, P. Mulder, R. Huhnke, 
et al. 1995. Alfalfa harvest management: 
Discussions with cost-benefit analysis. Oklahoma 
Coop. Ext. Serv. Circ. E-943. 

CDC (Centers for Disease Control). 2007. 
Salmonella typhimurium infection associated 
with raw milk and cheese consumption — 
Pennsylvania. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 
56:1161-1164. 

Cerosaletti, P., and D. Dewing. 2008. What 
is precision feed management? Northeast Dairy 
Bus., Dec. 2008, p. 15. 

Cerosaletti, RE., D.G. Fox, and L.E. Chase. 

2004. Phosphorus reduction through precision 
feeding of dairy cattle. /. Dairy Sci. 87:2314- 
2323. 

Cherney, D.J.R., and J.H. Cherney. 1993. 
Annual and perennial grass production for 
silage, p. 9-17. In Silage production: From 
seed to animal. Proc. Natl. Silage Prod. Conf. 
NRAES-67, Syracuse, NY. Northeast Region. 
Agric. Eng. Serv., Ithaca, NY. 

Cherney, D.J.R., and J.H. Cherney. 2006. Split 
application of nitrogen on temperate perennial 
grasses in the Northeast USA. Available at doi: 
10.1094/FG-2006-1211-01-RS (verified 10 Nov. 
2011) 

Cherney, D.J.R., J.H. Cherney, and E.A. 
Mikhailova. 2002. Nitrogen utilization by 
orchardgrass and tall fescue from dairy manure 
or commercial fertilizer nitrogen. Agron. J. 
94:405-412. 

Cherney, J.H., and D.J.R. Cherney. 2005. 
Agronomic response of cool-season grasses 
to low intensity harvest management and 
low potassium fertility. Agron. J. 97:1216- 
1221. 



Cherney, J.H., D.J.R. Cherney, and T.W 
Bruulesma. 1998. Potassium management. 
p.137-160. In J.H. Cherney and D.J.R. 
Cherney (ed.) Grass for dairy cattle. CAB Intl., 
Wallingford, UK. 

Cherney, J.H., D.J.R. Cherney, and M.D. 
Casler 2003. Low intensity harvest 
management of reed canarygrass. Agron. J. 
95:627-634. 

Cherney, J.H., D.J.R. Cherney, and D. 

Parsons. 2006. Grass silage management issues, 
p. 37-49. In Silage for dairy farms: Growing, 
harvesting, storing, and feeding, Harrisburg, PA. 
23-25 Jan. 2006. NRAES-181. Nat. Resour., 
Agric, and Eng. Serv., Ithaca, NY. 

Cherney, J.H. , and J. M. Duxbury. 1994. 
Inorganic nitrogen supply and symbiotic 
dinitrogen fixation in alfalfa./. Plant Nutr. 17: 
2053-2067. 

Cherney, J.H., and R.L. Kallenbach. 2007. 
Forage systems in the temperate humid zone, 
p. 277-290. In R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: 
The science of grassland agriculture. 6th ed. 
Blackwell, Ames, IA. 

Cherney, J.H., Q.M. Ketterings, D.J. Cherney, 
and M.H. Davis. 2010. Timing of semisolid 
dairy manure applications does not affect yield 
and quality of orchardgrass. Agron. J. 102:553- 
558. 

Chianese, D.S., CA. Rotz, and T.L. Richard. 
2009. Simulation of nitrous oxide emissions 
from dairy farms to assess greenhouse gas 
reduction strategies. Trans. ASABE 52:1325- 
1335. 

Christians, N.E., D.P. Marten, and J.F. 
Wilkinson. 1979. Nitrogen, phosphorus, 
and potassium effects on quality and growth 
of Kentucky bluegrass and creeping bentgrass. 
Agron. J. 71:564-567. 

Clausen, J. C, K. Guillard, CM. Sigmund, and 
K Martin Dors. 2000. Water quality changes 
from riparian buffer restoration in Connecticut. 
/. Environ. Qual. 29:1751-1761. 

Colby, M.G., M. Drake, H. Oohara, and 
N. Yoshida. 1966. Carbohydrate reserves in 
orchardgrass. p. 151—155. Proc. Int. Grassl. 
Congr., Helsinki, Finland. 7-16 July 1983. 

Collins, D.M., and D.E. Manning. 2005. 
Johne's Information Center, School of 
Veterinary Medicine, Univ. of Wisconsin, 
Madison, WI. 

Collins, M. 1995. Hay preservation effects on 
yield and quality, p. 67-89. In K.J. Moore and 
MA. Peterson (ed.) Post-harvest physiology and 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



preservation of forages. CSSA Spec. Publ. 22. 
ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison WI. 

Collins, M., and W.K. Coblentz. 2007. Post- 
harvest physiology, p. 583-616. In R.F Barnes 
et al. (ed.) Forages: The science of grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed. Blackwell, Ames, IA. 

Collins, M., and D.B. Hannaway. 2003. Forage- 
related animal disorders, p. 415—441. In R.F 
Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction to 
grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, 
Ames, IA. 

Collins, M., and V.N. Owens. 2003. 
Preservation of forage as hay and silage, p. 
443-471. In R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages. An 
introduction to grassland agriculture. 6th ed. 
Iowa State Press, Ames, IA. 

Cory, D., and W. Martin. 1985. Valuing wildlife 
for efficient multiple use: Elk versus cattle. 
Western J. Agric. Econ. 10:282-293. 

Daliparthy, J., S.J. Herbert, and P.L.M. 

Veneman. 1994. Dairy manure applications to 
alfalfa: crop response, soil nitrate, and nitrate in 
soil water. Agron. J. 86:927-933. 

Davis, D.K., R.L. McGraw, and PR. 
Beuselinck. 1 994. Herbage and seed 
production of annual lespedezas as affected by 
harvest management. Agron. J. 86:704-706. 

Davis, D.K., R.L. McGraw, PR. Beuselinck, 
and C.A. Roberts. 1995. Total nonstructural 
carbohydrate accumulation in roots of annual 
lespedeza. Agron. J. 87:89-92. 

Debertin, D.L., and A. Pagoulatos. 1985. 
Optimal management strategies for alfalfa 
production within a total farm plan. Southern J. 
Agric. Econ. 17:127-137. Dec. 1985. 

Digman, M.F., D.J. Undersander, K.J. 

Shinners, and C. Saxe. 201 1. Best practices to 
hasten field drying of grasses and alfalfa. Univ. 
Wisconsin Ext. Publ. A3927. 

Doll, J.D. 1994. Protein, moisture content and 
feed value of forage weeds. Proc. North Central 
WeedSci.Soc. 49:94. 

Easton, Z.M., M.T. Walter, and T.S. Steenhuis. 
2008. Combined monitoring and modeling 
indicate the most effective agricultural best 
management practices./. Environ. Qual. 
37:1798-1809. 

Esser, N.M., PC. Hoffman, W.K. Coblentz, 
M.W Orth, et al. 2009. The effect of dietary 
phosphorus on bone development in dairy 
heifers./. Dairy Sci. 92:1741-1749. 

Ethredge, J., E.R. Beaty, and R.M. Lawrence. 
1973. Effects of clipping height, clipping 
frequency and rates of nitrogen on yield and 



energy content of coastal bermudagrass. Agron. J. 
65:717-719. 

Evers, G.W 2002. Ryegrass-bermudagrass 
production and nutrient uptake when 
combining nitrogen fertilizer and broiler litter. 
Agron. J. 94:905-910. 

Fales, S.L., A.S. Laidlaw, and M.G. Lambert. 
1996. Cool-season grass ecosystems, p. 267-296. 
In L.E. Moser et al. (ed.) Cool-season forage 
grasses. Agron. Mono. 34. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, 
Madison, WI. 

Forwood, J.R., and M.M. Magai. 1992. Clipping 
frequency and intensity effects on big bluestem 
yield, quality, and persistence. /. Range Manage. 
45:554-559. 

Foster, J.L., A.T Adesogan, J.N. Carter, L.E. 
Sollenberger, et al. 2009. Annual legumes for 
forage systems in the United States Gulf Coast 
Region. Agron. J. 101:415-421. 

Fuchs, D.J. 2002. Dairy manure application 
methods and nutrient loss from alfalfa. 
Minnesota Dept. Agric. Greenbook 1:313-317. 

Gates, D.M. 1980. Biophysical ecology. Springer- 
Verlag, New York. 

Geohring, L.D., O.V. McHugh, M.T. Walter, T.S. 
Steenhuis, et al. 2001. Phosphorus transport 
into subsurface drains by macropores after manure 
applications: Implications for best manure 
management practices. Soil Sci. 166:896—909. 

George, J.R., C.L. Rhykerd, C.H. Noller, J.E. 
Dillon, et al. 1973. Effect of N fertilization 
on dry matter yield, total-N, N recovery, and 
nitrate-N concentration of three cool-season 
forage grass species. Agron. J. 65:21 1—216. 

Ghebremichael, L.T., RE. Cerosaletti, T.L. 
Veith, C.A. Rotz, et al. 2007. Economic and 
phosphorus- related effects of precision feeding 
and forage management at a farm scale. /. Dairy 
Sci. 90:3700-3715. 

Gist, G.R., and G.O. Mott. 1958. Growth of 
alfalfa, red clover, and birdsfoot trefoil seedlings 
under various quantities of light. Agron. J. 
50:583-586. 

Gotlieb, A. 1996. Causes of mycotoxins in silage, 
p. 213-221. In Proc. Silage: Field to feedbunk, 
Hershey, PA, 11-13 Feb. 1996. NRAES-99. 
Nat. Resour., Agric, Eng. Serv. Ithaca, NY. 

Graber, L.E, and VG. Sprague. 1935. Cutting 
treatments of alfalfa in relation to infestations of 
leafhoppers. Ecology 16:48-59. 

Hall, M.H., D.B. Beegle, R.S Bowersox, 
and R.C. Stout. 2003. Optimum nitrogen 
fertilization of cool-season grasses in the 
Northeast USA. Agron. J. 95:1023-1027. 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



Hall, M.H., J.M. Dillon, D.J. Undersander, 
T.M. Wood, et al. 2009. Ecogeographic factors 
affecting inflorescence emergence of cool-season 
forage grasses. Crop Sci. 49: 1 1 09-1 115. 

Hall, M.H., N.S. Hebrock, P.E. Pierson, J.L. 
Caddel, et al. 2010. The effects of glyphosate- 
tolerant technology on reduced alfalfa seeding 
rates. Agron.J. 102: 911-916. 

Hall, M.W., J.H. Cherney, and C.A. Rotz. 
2007. Saving forage as hay or silage, p. 121- 
134. In E. Rayburn (ed.) Forage utilization 
for pasture-based livestock production. 
NRAES-173. Nat. Resour., Agric, Eng. Serv. 
Ithaca, NY. 

Hancock, D.W., R. Hicks, S.P. Morgan, and 
R.W. Franks. 201 1. Georgia forages: Legume 
species. Univ. Georgia College of Agric. and 
Environ. Sci. B 1347. 

Hannaway, D.B., C. Daly, L. Coop, D. 

Chapman, and Y. Wei. 2005. GIS-based forage 
species adaptation mapping, p. 319-342. In 
S.G. Reynolds and J. Frame (ed.) Grasslands: 
Developments, opportunities, perspectives. FAO 
and Science Pub., Rome. 

Harmon, J. P., A.R. Ives, J.E. Losey, A.C. Olson, 
and K.S. Rauwald. 2000. Coleomegilla 
maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) predation 
on pea aphids promoted by proximity to 
dandelions. Oecologia 125:543-548. 

Harris, B., Jr., D. Morse, H.H. Head, and 
H.H. Van Horn. 1990. Phosphorus nutrition 
and excretion by dairy animals. Florida Coop. 
Ext. Serv. Circ. 849. 

Hector, A., and M. Loreau. 2005. Relationships 
between biodiversity and production in 
grasslands at local and regional scales, p. 295- 
304. In DA. McGilloway (ed.) Grassland: A 
global resource. Wageningen Acad. Publ., The 
Netherlands. 

Heichel, G.H., and K.I. Henjum. 2000. 
Dinitrogen fixation, nitrogen transfer, 
and productivity of forage legume-grass 
communities. Crop Sci. 31:202—208. 

Henning, J.C., C.T. Dougherty, J. O'Leary, 
and M. Collins. 1990. Urea for preservation of 
moist hay. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 31:193—204. 

Hoveland, C.S., R.G. Durham, and J.H. Bouton. 
1 997. Tall fescue response to clipping and 
competition with no-till seeded alfalfa as affected 
by fungal endophyte. Agron. J. 89: 1 19-125. 

Jansen, J., and A. Godkin. 2005. Raising Johne's- 
free calves, p. 220-225. In Advances in dairy 
technology, Proc. Western Canadian Dairy 
Seminar, Red Deer, AB. 



Jennings, J.A., and C.J. Nelson. 2002. Rotation 
interval and pesticide effects on establishment of 
alfalfa after alfalfa. Agron. J. 94:786-791. 

Joern, B., and J. Volenec. 1996. Manure as a 
nutrient source for alfalfa. Purdue Univ. Ext. 
Bull., Dept. Agron., West Lafayette, IN. 

Johnson, K.D. 2007. Selecting the "right" legume. 
Purdue Univ. Coop. Ext. Serv. AY-2 1 1 . 

Jones, P.D., B.K. Strickland, S. Demarais, B.J. 
Rude, et al. 20 1 0. Soils and forage quality as 
predictors of white- tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus 
morphometries. Wildl. Biol. 16:430^39. 

Kallenbach, R.L., C.J. Nelson, and J.H. 

Coutts. 2002. Yield, quality and persistence of 
grazing- and hay-type alfalfa under three harvest 
frequencies. Agron. J. 94: 1094-1 103. 

Kallenbach, R.L., C.J. Nelson, J.H. Coutts 
and M.D. Massie. 2005. Cutting alfalfa in 
late autumn increases annual yield, doesn't hurt 
stands, but is unlikely to increase profit. Forage 
Grazingl. Available at doi:10.1094/FG-2005- 
0404-0 1-RS (verified 10 Nov., 2011) 

Karlen, D.L., J.L. Lemunyon, and J.W Singer 
2007. Forages for conservation and improved 
soil quality, p. 149-166. In R.F Barnes et 
al. (ed.) Forages: The science of grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed. Blackwell, Ames, IA. 

Katayama, N., C. Tanaka, T. Fujita, T. Suzuki, 
et al. 2001. Effects of silage fermentation and 
ammonia treatment on activity of Mycobacterium 
avium subsp. paratuberculosis. Grassl. Sci. 
47:296-299. 

Ketterings, Q.M., J.H. Cherney, K.J. 

Czymmek, E. Frenay, et al. 2008. Manure use 
for alfalfa-grass production. Dept. Anim. Sci. 
Mimeo 231 /Dept. Crop Soil Sci. Ext. Ser. E08- 
3. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY. 

Ketterings, Q.M., E. Frenay, J.H. Cherney, K 
Czymmek, et al. 2007. Application of manure 
to established stands of alfalfa and alfalfa-grass. 
Forage Grazingl. Available at doi:10.1094/FG- 
2007-041 8-0 1-RV (verified 10 Nov. 2011). 

Kim, B.W, and K.A. Albrecht. 2011. Forage 
quality management of kura clover in binary 
mixtures with Kentucky bluegrass, orchardgrass, 
or smooth bromegrass. Asian- Australasian J. 
Anim. Sci. 24:344 350. 

Klinner, WE. 1976. A mowing and crop 
conditioning system for temperate climates. 
Trans. ASAE 19:237-241. 

Knapp, W.R., DA. Holt, and V.L. Lechtenberg. 
1975. Hay preservation and quality 
improvement by anhydrous ammonia treatment. 
Agron. J. 67:766-769. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



Koenig, R., M. Nelson, J. Barnhill, and D. 
Miner. 2002. Fertilizer management for grass 
and grass-legume mixtures. Utah State Univ. 
Coop. Ext. AG-FG-03. Logan, UT. 

Kuldau, G.A., and M.A. Mansfield. 2006. 
Mycotoxins and mycotoxigenic fungi in silages, 
p. 91-99. In Proc. Silage for dairy farms: 
Growing, harvesting, storing, and seeding. 
NRAES-181. Harrisburg, PA, 23-25 Jan. 2006. 
Nat. Resour., Agric, Eng. Serv. Ithaca, NY. 

Kust, C.A., and D. Smith. 1961. Influence of 
harvest management on levels of carbohydrate 
reserves, longevity of stands and yield of hay 
and protein from Vernal alfalfa. Crop Sci. 
1:267-269. 

Lamb, J.ES., D.K. Barnes, M.P. Russelle, C.R 
Vance, et al. 1995. Ineffectively and effectively 
nodulated alfalfas demonstrate biological 
nitrogen fixation continues with high nitrogen 
fertilization. Crop Sci. 35:153-157. 

Lamb, J.ES., C.C. Sheaffer, L.H. Rhodes, 
R.M. Sulc, et al. 2006. Five decades of alfalfa 
cultivar improvement: Impact on forage yield, 
persistence, and nutritive value. Crop Sci. 
46:902-909. 

Langville, A.R., and G.W. McKee. 1968. 
Seasonal variation in carbohydrate root reserves 
and crude protein and tannin in crownvetch 
forage, Coronilla varia I. Agron. J. 60:415—419. 

Lawrence, J.R., Q.M. Ketterings, and J.H. 
Cherney. 2008a. Effect of nitrogen application 
on yield and quality of silage corn after forage 
legume-grass. Agron. J. 100:73-79. 

Lawrence, J.R., Q.M. Ketterings, J.H. 

Cherney, S.E. Bossard, et al. 2008b. Tillage 
tools for manure incorporation and nitrogen (N) 
conservation. Soil Sci. 173:649-658. 

Leedy, D.L., and L.E. Hicks. 1945. Pheasants in 
Ohio. p. 57-140. In W.L. McAtee (ed.) Ring- 
necked pheasant and its management in North 
America. Am. Wildl. Inst., Washington, DC. 

Leopold, A., T.M. Sperry, W.S. Feeney, and J.A. 
Catenhusen. 1943. Population turnover on a 
Wisconsin pheasant refuge. /. Wildl. Manage. 
7:383-394. 

Liu, X., X. Zhang, and M. Zhang. 2008. Major 
factors influencing the efficacy of vegetated 
buffers on sediment trapping: A review and 
analysis./. Environ. Qual. 37:1667-1674. 

Loomis, J., P. Kent, L. Strange, K. Fausch, and 
A. Covich. 2000. Measuring the total economic 
value of restoring ecosystem services in an 
impaired river basin: results from a contingent 
valuation survey. Ecol. Econ. 33:103-117. 



Ludwick, A.E., AND C.B. Rumberg. 1976. 
Grass hay production as influenced by N-P top 
dressing and by residual P. Agron. J. 68:933-937. 

MacAdam, J.W, and C.J. Nelson. 2003. 
Physiology of forage plants, p. 73-97. In R.F 
Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction to 
grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, 
Ames, IA. 

Marten, G.C. 1989. Reed canarygrass. Breeding 
forage grasses to maximize animal performance, 
p. 71-104. In D.A. Sleper et al. (ed.) 
Contributions from breeding forage and turf 
grasses. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison, WI. 

Marten, G.C, and R.N. Andersen. 1975. 
Forage nutritive value and palatability of 12 
common annual weeds. Crop Sci. 15:821-827. 

Matches, A.G. 1969. Influence of cutting height 
in darkness on measurement of energy reserves 
of tall fescue. Agron. J. 61:896-898. 

Matches, A.G., WE Wedin, G.C. Marten, D. 
Smith, et al. 1970. Forage quality on Vernal 
and DuPuits alfalfa harvested by calendar date 
and plant maturity schedules in Missouri, Iowa, 
Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Wise. Agric. Exp. 
Stn. Res. Rep. 73. 

Mawdsley, J.L., R.D. Bargett, R.J. Merry, B.E 
Pain, et al. 1995. Pathogens in livestock waste, 
their potential for movement through the soil and 
environmental pollution. Appl. Soil Ecol. 2:1—15. 

McGechan, M.B. 1990. A cost-benefit study of 
alternative policies in making grass silage. /. 
Agric. Eng. Res. 46:153-170. 

McGraw, R.L., and C.J. Nelson. 2003. Legumes 
for northern areas, p. 171-190. In R.F Barnes et 
al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction to grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, Ames, IA. 

McGraw, R.L., EW Shockley, J.E Thompson, 
and C.A. Roberts. 2004. Evaluation of native 
legume species for forage yield, quality and 
seed production. Nativeplants, Fall 2004, p. 
152-159. 

McRandal, D.M., and EB. McNulty. 1978. 
Impact cutting behaviour of forage crops. I. 
Mathematical models and laboratory tests. II. 
Field tests./. Agric. Eng. Res. Ti-.'iX^-'il'ii . 

Merry, R.J., R. Jones, and M.K Theodorou. 
2000. The conservation of grass, p. 196-228. 
In A. Hopkins (ed.) Grass: Its production & 
utilization. 3rd ed., Blackwell Sci., London. 

Meyer, D., and J. Helm. 1994. Alfalfa 

management in North Dakota. North Dakota 
Agric. Ext. Rep. R-571. 

Min, D-H, T.S. Dietz, W.J. Everman, A.E. 
Chomas, et al. 2012. Glyphosate-resistant 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



alfalfa response to harvest frequency and weed 
management. Weed Tech. 26:399-404. 

Mitchell, R.B., L.E. Moser, B. Anderson, 
and S.S. Waller 1994. Switchgrass and big 
bluestem for grazing and hay. Univ. Nebraska 
NebGuideG94-1198-A. 

Monson, W.G. 1966. Effect of sequential 
defoliation, frequency of harvest and stubble 
height on alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Agron. J. 
58:635. 

Moore, K.J., and R.D. Hatfield. 1994. 

Carbohydrates and forage quality, p. 229-280. 
In G.C. Fahey, Jr. et al. (ed.) Forage quality, 
evaluation, and utilization. ASA, Madison, WI. 

Moore, K.J., and V.L. Lechtenberg. 1987. 
Chemical composition and digestion in vitro 
of orchardgrass hay ammoniated by different 
techniques. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 17:109—119. 

Moore, K.J., V.L. Lechtenberg, and K.S. 
Hendrix. 1985. Quality of orchardgrass 
hay ammoniated at different rates, moisture 
concentrations, and treatment durations. Agron. 
J. 77:67-71. 

Morin, C, G. Belanger, G.F. Tremblay, A. 
Bertrand, et al. 201 1. Diurnal variations of 
nonstructural carbohydrates and nutritive value 
in alfalfa. Crop Sci. 51:1297-1306. 

Moser, L.E., and C.J. Nelson. 2003. Structure 
and morphology of grasses, p. 25—50. In R.F 
Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction to 
grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, 
Ames, IA. 

Muck, R.E., and L. Kung, Jr 2007. Silage 
production, p. 617-633. In R.F Barnes et 
al. (ed.) Forages: The science of grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed. Blackwell, Ames, IA. 

MuiR, J. P., W.R. OCUMPAUGH, AND T.J. BuTLER 

2005. Trade-offs in forage and seed parameters of 
annual Medicago and Trifolium species in north- 
central Texas as affected by harvest management. 
Agron. J. 97:118-124. 

Nelson, C.J. 1996. Physiology and developmental 
morphology, p. 87-125. In L.E. Moser et al. 
(ed.) Cool-season forage grasses. Agron. Monogr. 
34. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison, WI. 

Nelson, C.J., and J.C. Burns. 2006. Fifty years 
of grassland science leading to change: A review. 
Crop Sci. 46:2204-2217. 

Nelson, C.J., and L.E. Moser 1994. Plant factors 
affecting forage quality, p. 1 15-154. In G.C. 
Fahey, Jr., et al. (ed.) Forage quality, evaluation, 
and utilization. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison, WI. 

Nicholson, FA., B.J. Chambers, J.R. Williams, 
and R.J. Unwin. 1999. Heavy metal contents of 



livestock feeds and animal manures in England 
and Wales. Bioresour. Technol. 70:23-31. 

Ochterski, J. 2006. Hayfield management and 
grassland bird conservation. Cornell Coop. Ext., 
Schuyler County, NY. 

Omiccioli, E., G. Amagliani, and G. 

Brandi. 2009. A new platform for real-time 
PCR detection of Salmonella spp., listeria 
monocytogenes and Escherichia coli Ol 57 in milk. 
/. Food Microbiol. 26:615-622. 

Owensby, C.E., J.R. Rains, and J.D. 

McKendrick. 1974. Effect of one year of 
intensive clipping on big bluestem. /. Range. 
Manage. 27:341-343. 

Parsons, D., J.H. Cherney, and PR. Peterson. 
2009. Pre-harvest fiber concentration of alfalfa as 
influenced by stubble height. Agron. J. 101:769— 
774. 

Parsons, D., K. McRoberts, J.H. Cherney, 
D.J.R. Cherney, et al. 2011. Preharvest neutral 
detergent fiber concentration of temperate 
perennial grasses as influenced by stubble height. 
Crop Sci. 52:914-922. 

Pederson, G.A., GA. Brink, and T.E. 

Fairbrother 2002. Nutrient uptake in plant 
parts of sixteen forages fertilized with poultry 
litter: Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, copper 
and zinc. Agron. J. 94:895-904. 

Peters, E.J., and D.L Linscott. 1988. Weeds and 
weed control, p. 705-735. In AA. Hanson et 
al. (ed.) Alfalfa and alfalfa improvement. Agron. 
Mono. 29. ASA CSSA, SSSA. Madison, WI. 

Peterson, P., and E. Thomas. 2008. Grass 

sensitivity to cutting height. Univ. Minn. Forage 
Qual. 2(3): 1. 

Ponican, J., and V. Lichar. 2004. Technical 
parameters of machines and their influence on 
the forage crop harvest. Acta Technol. Agric. 
7:67-70. 

Posler, G.L., A.W Lenssen, and G.L. Fine. 
1993. Forage yield, quality, compatibility, 
and persistence of warm-season grass-legume 
mixtures. Agron. J. 85:544-560. 

Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute. 
1993. Hay and forage moisture meters: 
Delmhorst HTM-1, Delmhorst RDM-H, DANI 
Haytester, and Omni-Mark Preagro-25. PAMI 
Report 700. Portage la Prairie, MB. 

Probst, T.A., and S.R. Smith. 2011. 
Harvest frequency effects on yield, 
persistence, and regrowth rate among new 
alfalfa cultivars. Available at http://www. 
plantmanagementnetwork.org/sub/fg/ 
research/2011 /alfalfa (verified 10 Nov. 2011). 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. J. Nelson, D. D. Redfearn, and J. H. Cherney 



Putnam, D.H., M. Russelle, S.B. Orloff, J. 
Kuhn, et al. 2001. Alfalfa, wildlife and the 
environment: The importance and benefits of 
alfalfa in the 21st century. California Alfalfa 
Forage Assoc, Novato, CA. 

Radcliffe, E.B., and K.L. Flanders. 1998. 
Biological control of alfalfa weevil in North 
America. Integr. Pest Manage. Rev. 3:225—242. 

Rains, J.R., C.E. Owensby, and K.E. Kemp. 
1975. Effects of nitrogen fertilization, burning, 
and grazing on reserve constituents of big 
bluestem. /. Range Manage. 28:358-362. 

Rao, S.Cand B.K. Northup. 2009. Capabilities 
of four novel warm-season legumes in the 
Southern Great Plains: Biomass and forage 
quality. Crop Set. 49:1096-1102. 

Rayburn, E. 2002. Forage species adapted to 
the northeast. West Virginia Univ. Ext. Serv. 
Available at www.wvu.edu/-agexten/pubnwsltr/ 
TRIM/5823.htm (verified 10 Nov. 2011). 

Rayburn, E.B. 1993. Plant growth and 

development as the basis of forage management. 
West Virginia Univ. Ext. Serv. Available at www. 
caf.wvu.edu/-foragegrowth.htm (verified 10 
Nov. 2011). 

Redfearn, D.D., and C.J. Nelson. 2003. 
Grasses for southern areas, p. 149-213. In R.F 
Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction to 
grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, 
Ames, IA. 

Risser, P.G., and W.J. Parton. 1982. Ecosystem 
analysis of the tallgrass prairie: Nitrogen cycle. 
Ecology 63:1342-1351. 

Roth, A.M., D.W Sample, CA. Ribic, L. Paine, 
D.J. Undersander, and G.A. Bartelt. 2005. 
Grassland bird response to harvesting switchgrass 
as a biomass energy crop. Biomass Bioenergy 
28:490-498. 

Rotz, CA. 1995. Field curing of forages, p. 39- 
66. In K.J. Moore and MA. Peterson (ed.) Post- 
harvest physiology and preservation of forages. 
CSSA Spec. Publ. 22. ASA, CSSA, Madison, 
WI. 

Rotz, C.A., and S.M. Abrams. 1988. Losses and 
quality changes during alfalfa hay harvest and 
storage . Trans. ASAE 31:350-355. 

Rotz, C.A., D.R. Buckmaster, D.R. Mertens, 
and J.R. Black. 1989. DAFOSYM: A dairy 
forage system model for evaluating alternatives 
in forage conservation. /. Dairy Sci. 72:3050- 
3063. 

Rotz, C.A., and Y. Chen. 1985. Alfalfa drying 
model for the field environment. Trans. ASAE 
28:1686-1691. 



Rotz, C.A., P.J.A. Kleinman, C.J. Dell, T.L. 
Veith, et al. 201 1. Environmental and 
economic comparisons of manure application 
methods in farming systems. /. Environ. Qual. 
40:438-448. 

Rotz, C.A., F. Montes, and D.S. Chianese. 
2010. The carbon footprint of dairy production 
systems through partial life cycle assessment. /. 
Dairy Sci. 1266-1282. 

Rotz, C.A., and R.E. Muck. 1994. Changes 
in forage quality during harvest and storage, 
p. 828-868. In G.C. Fahey, Jr., et al. (ed.) 
Forage quality, evaluation, and utilization. ASA, 
Madison, WI. 

Rotz, C.A., and P. Savoie. 1991. Economics of 
swath manipulation during field curing of alfalfa. 
Appl. Eng. Agric. 7:316-323. 

Rotz, C.A., and D.J. Sprott. 1984. Drying 
rates, losses and fuel requirements for mowing 
and conditioning alfalfa. Trans. ASAE 27:715— 
720. 

Russelle, M.P., M.H. Entz, and A.J. 

Franzluebbers. 2007. Reconsidering integrated 
crop-livestock systems in North America. Agron. 
J. 99:325-334. 

Saumure, R.A., T.B. Herman, and R.D. Titman. 
2007. Effects of haying and agricultural practices 
on a declining species: The North American 
wood turtle, Glyptemys insculpta. Biol. Conserv. 
135:565-575. 

Savoie, P. 1 987. Hay tedding loses. Can. Agric. 
Eng. 30:151-154. 

Schnepf, M., and C. Cox. (ed.) 2006. 
Environmental benefits of conservation on 
cropland: The status of our knowledge. Soil 
Water Conserv. Soc. Ankeny, IA. 

Sedorovich, D.M., CA. Rotz, PA. Vadas, and 
R.D. Harmel. 2007. Predicting management 
effects on phosphorus loss from farming systems. 
Trans. ASAE 50:1443-1453. 

Sharpley, A.N., S. Chapra, R. Wedepohl, 
J.T. Sims, etal. 1994. Managing agricultural 
phosphorus for protection of surface waters: 
Issues and options. /. Environ. Qual. 23:437- 
451. 

Sheaffer, C.C, CD. Lacefield, and V.L. 
Marble. 1988. Cutting schedules and stands, 
p. 41 1-437. In A.A. Hanson, D.K Barnes, and 
R.R. Hill (ed.) Alfalfa and alfalfa improvement. 
Agron. Mono. 29. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison, 
WI. 

Sheaffer, C.C, and D.L. Wyse. 1982. Common 
dandelion (Taraxicum officianale) control in 
alfalfa {Medicago sativa) . Weed Sci. 30:216-220. 



CHAPTER 4: Forage Harvest Management 



Shuler, P.E., and D.B. Hannaway. 1993. The 
effect of preplant nitrogen and soil temperature 
on yield and nitrogen accumulation of alfalfa. /. 
Plant Nutr. 16:373-392. 

Simpson, K. 1991. Fertilizers and manures. John 
Wiley, New York. 

Skinner, R.H., and K.J. Moore. 2007. Growth 
and development of forage plants, p. 53-66. In 
R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: The science of 
grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Blackwell Publ., 
Ames, IA. 

Sleper, DA., and C.P. West. 1996. Tall fescue, p. 
471-502. In L.E. Moser et al. (ed.) Cool-season 
forage grasses. Agron. Monogr. 34. ASA, CSSA, 
and SSSA, Madison, WI. 

Sleugh, B., K.J. Moore, J.R. George, and E.C. 
Brummer 2000. Binary legume-grass mixtures 
improve forage yield, quality, and seasonal 
distribution. Agron. J. 92:24-29. 

Smith, D. 1962. Carbohydrate root reserves in 
alfalfa, red clover, and birdsfoot trefoil under 
several management schedules. Crop Sci. 2:75- 
78. 

Smith, D., and C.J. Nelson. 1967. Growth of 
birdsfoot trefoil and alfalfa. I. Response to height 
and frequency of cutting. Crop Sci. 7:130-133. 

Smith, M. 2008. Iowa crop performance tests- 
alfalfa. Iowa State Univ. Ext. Guide 84. 

SOLLENBERGER, L.E., AND M. COLLINS. 2003. 

Legumes for southern areas, p. 191—213. In R.F 
Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: An introduction to 
grassland agriculture. 6th ed. Iowa State Press, 
Ames, IA. 

Stabel, J.R. 1998. Johne's disease: A hidden threat. 
J. Dairy Sci. 81:283-288. 

Strickland, B.K, and S. Demarais. 2008. 
Influence of landscape composition and 
structure on antler size of white- tailed deer. /. 
Wildl. Manage. 72:1101-1108. 

Sulc, R.M., and WO. Lamp. 2007. Insect pest 
management, p. 41 1—424. In R.F Barnes et 
al. (ed.) Forages: The science of grassland 
agriculture. Blackwell Publ., Ames, IA. 

Sulc, R.M., E. van Santen, K.D. Johnson, 
C.C. Sheaffer, etal. 2001. Glandular-haired 
cultivars reduce potato leafhopper damage in 
alfalfa. Agron. J. 93:1287-1296. 

Trautman, C.G. 1982. History, ecology and 
management of the ring- necked pheasant in 
South Dakota. South Dakota Game, Fish and 
Parks Dept. Pierre, SD. 

Van Horn, H.H., RA. Nordstedt, A.V. 

Bottcher, EA. Hanlon, etal. 1991. Dairy 
manure management: Strategies for recycling 



nutrients to recover fertilizer value and avoid 
environmental pollution. Florida Coop. Ext. 
Serv. Circ. 1016. 
Vetsch, J.A., and M.P Russelle. 1999. Reed 
canarygrass yield, crude protein, and nitrate N 
response to fertilizer N. /. Prod. Agric. 12:465— 
471. 

VOLENEC, J.J., AND C.J. NELSON. 2003. 

Environmental aspects of forage management, 
p. 99-124. In R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: 
An introduction to grassland agriculture. 6th ed. 
Iowa State Press, Ames, IA. 

Volenec, J.J., and C.J. Nelson. 2007. Physiology 
of forage plants, p. 37-52. In R.F Barnes et 
al. (ed.) Forages: The science of grassland 
agriculture. 6th ed., Blackwell Publ., Ames, IA. 

Volenec, J.J., A. Ourry, and B.C. Joern. 1996. 
A role for nitrogen reserves in forage regrowth 
and stress tolerance. Physiol. Plant. 97:185-193. 

Ward, C.Y., and R.E. Blaser 1961. Carbohydrate 
food reserves and leaf area in regrowth of 
orchardgrass. Crop Sci. 1:366-370. 

Warner, R.E. 1981. Illinois pheasants: Population, 
ecology, distribution, and abundance, 1900- 
1978. Biol. Illinois Nat. Hist. Surv. Notes 115. 
Springfield, IL. 

Warner, R.E., and S.J. Brady. 1996. Managing 
farmlands for wildlife, p. 648-662. InT.A. 
Bookout (ed.) Research and management 
techniques for wildlife and habitats. Wildlife 
Society, Bethesda, MD. 

Warner, R.E., and S.L. Etter. 1989. Hay cutting 
and the survival of pheasants: A long-term 
perspective./. Wildl. Manage. 53:455-461. 

West, C.P, and C.J. Nelson. 2003. Naturalized 
grassland ecosystems and their management, p. 
315-337. In R.F Barnes et al. (ed.) Forages: An 
introduction to grassland agriculture. 6th ed. 
Iowa State Press, Ames, IA. 

Wilson, J.D., M.J. Whittingham, and R.B. 
Bradbury. 2005. The management of crop 
structure: a general approach to reversing the 
impacts of agricultural intensification of birds? 
Ibis 147:453-463. 

Wiersma, D., M. Bertram, R. Wiederholt, and 
N. Schneider 2007. The long and short of 
alfalfa cutting height. Available at www.uwex. 
edu/ces/crops/uwforage/AlfalfaCutHeight.htm 
(verified 11 Oct. 2011). 

Woolford, M.K, and R.M. Tetlow. 1984. The 
effect of anhydrous ammonia and moisture 
content on the preservation and chemical 
composition of perennial ryegrass hay. Anim. 
Feed Sci. Tech. 11:159-166. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



CHAPTER 



Nutrient Management on 
Pastures and Haylands 

C. Wesley Wood 1 , Philip A. Moore 2 , Brad C. Joern 3 , 
Randall D. Jackson 4 , and Miguel L. Cabrera 5 

Authors are ' Professor, Agronomy and Soils, Auburn University; 

2 Soil Scientist, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, 

Fayetteville, AR; 3 Professor, Agronomy, Purdue University; 

"•Associate Professor, Agronomy and Agroecology, University of Wisconsin; 

and 5 Professor, Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia. 

Correspondence: C. Wesley Wood, 234 Funchess Hall, 

Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849 

woodcha@auburn.edu 



Reference to any commercial product or service is made with the understanding 
that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by USDA is implied 




Mm 



u 



...nutrient management 
of pastures and 
haylands has enormous 
production, economic, 
and environmental 
implications 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



Nutrient Management on Pastures 
and Haylands 



C. Wesley Wood, Philip A. Moore, Brad C. Joern, Randall D. Jackson, 
and Miguel L. Cabrera 



INTRODUCTION 

Judicious use of nutrients is critical for 
management of the 74 Mha of U.S. pasture 
and haylands (Fig. 1.1) owing to its agronomic, 
economic, and environmental implications. 
The primary goal of nutrient management 
is to promote biomass productivity 
that provides profit for producers while 
minimizing negative environmental impacts. 
Additional goals include improvement 
of soil quality, increased soil carbon (C) 
sequestration, and providing important 
ecosystem services. 



The scientific literature is replete with examples 
of forage response to fertilization that increase 
agronomic yield. However, when fertilizer 
costs are considered, maximum forage yields 
are often not in the best interest of producers; 
aiming for maximum economic yield with less 
nutrient inputs is desired. This is especially true 
in today's economic climate because fertilizer 
costs, especially nitrogen (N), are directly tied 
to energy costs. 

Although production and producer profit 
are important, protecting the quality of 
soil, water, and air resources is imperative 




0.6% 

58% 

18% 

21% 

(w & w 

2.4%] 



FIGURE 5.1. Mississippi 
River drainage basin 
showing major tributaries 
and the general location 
of the hypoxic zone 
south of New Orleans 
in midsummer, 1 999. 
Reprinted with permission 
from Goolsby and Battagli, 
2000. 



CHAPTER 5: Nutrient Management on Pastures and Haylands 




Proper nutrient management on 
pastures and haylands allows 
for healthy aquatic ecosystems. 



to sustain the human race. The public has 
increased interest in having agricultural 
land provide ecosystem services like wildlife 
and plant diversity. According to the 2004 
national water quality inventory report to 
Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency (USEPA) reported nearly 44% of 
U.S. rivers and streams; 64% of lakes, ponds, 
and reservoirs; and 30% of bays and estuaries 
waters are too impaired to meet one or more 
of their designated uses (USEPA, 2009). The 
report implied that agriculture negatively 
affected 38% of impaired rivers and streams; 
16% of impaired lakes, ponds, and reservoirs; 
and 10% of impaired bays and estuaries. 
Nutrients were specifically listed as a cause 
of impairment for approximately 1 6% of 
impaired river and stream banks, 19% of 
impaired lake areas, and 14% of impaired 
estuary areas. 



Pasture and haylands comprise 6% of U.S. 
lands (Fig. 1.2), most of which are in the 
Mississippi River Basin (Fig. 5.1), and thus 
their management has a large potential to 
impact environmental quality in the central 
USA. Nutrient runoff from the Mississippi 
Atchafalaya River Basins (MARB) (Fig. 5.1) 
produces the second largest coastal hypoxic 
zone in the world (Rabalais et al, 2002), which 
is detrimental to commercial and sport fisheries 
in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Although 
attention has been focused on losses of N from 
row crops (National Research Council [NRC], 
2008), recent evidence suggests animal manure 
from pastureland contributes nearly as much 
P as row crops to the Gulf (Alexander et al., 
2008). Proper nutrient management on U.S. 
pasture and haylands can help reduce hypoxic 
conditions in the Gulf of Mexico and other 
U.S. coastal zones. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. W. Wood, P. A. Moore, B. C. Joern, R. D. Jackson, and M. L. Cabrera 



Nutrient management affects important 
soil-atmospheric interactions. Processes 
that remove and store carbon dioxide 
(C0 2 ) from the atmosphere and/or retard 
release of C0 2 , methane (CH 4 ), and 
nitrous oxide (N 2 0) to the atmosphere 
can help mitigate global climate change. 
Soil organic matter contains the largest 
terrestrial pool of C (Lai, 2004), and 
soils can be managed to sequester greater 
amounts of C, which improves soil quality 
in addition to lowering CO, content of the 
atmosphere. Nutrient management exerts 
control over sequestration of soil C under 
pasture and haylands via its influence on 
net primary productivity. Moreover, N 
management directly affects amount of N 2 
emissions from pasture and haylands. Lastly, 
nutrient management influences ammonia 
(NH 3 ) volatilization from soils, which has 
important N-use efficiency, air quality, and 
ecological implications. 

It is clear that nutrient management of 
pastures and haylands has enormous 
production, economic, and environmental 
implications. Thus, it is imperative that 
national policy on nutrient management as 
outlined by NRCS in Practice Standard 590 
be supported by science and implemented. 
In this synthesis of U.S. scientific literature 
we ask the question "Does the scientific 
literature on nutrient management of pasture 
and hayland support the purported benefits 
outlined in Practice Standard 590?" Table 
5.1 shows these purported benefits, the 
criteria used to assess the benefits, and the 
relative strength of research support for each 
criterion. 

To assist in determining the scientific 
underpinning of the above benefits we 
downloaded the Conservation Physical 
Practices Effects (CPPE) matrix from 
the NRCS website and considered the 
hypothesized responses relative to the NRCS 
Nutrient Management Practice Standard 
(590) (Table 5.2). We bound our literature 
synthesis to managed pastures used for 
grazing or fields used for hay production. 
We searched for U.S. literature addressing 
nutrient inputs to pastures/haylands and 
practices designed to retain nutrients in these 
agroecosystems. 



BUDGET AND SUPPLY OF NUTRIENTS 

Most grassland soils in the USA require 
nutrient additions to obtain optimum forage 
production and maintain desired plant species. 
Nutrient management in grasslands begins with 
budgeting nutrients based on the difference 
between the amounts of nutrients expected to 
be taken up by forage and the amounts made 
available within the soil. The difference is used 
to estimate the rates of nutrients to be supplied. 
Fertilizer recommendations developed by 
research at land grant universities are used 
almost exclusively to determine fertilizer rates 
to apply, although evidence from row crops 
suggests that these recommendations lead to 
overapplication of nutrients. This may also be 
the case with pastures. 

Nutrient supply is only part of the picture — 
factors affecting forage uptake of applied 
nutrients (yield) are equally important, as 
it is the balance between supply and uptake 
that determines the potential for nutrient 
losses. Grazing and grazing management 
can affect the rate of forage growth, hence 
the extent of nutrient uptake and the 
potential for loss. And grazing animals 
recycle nutrients to the pasture and need 
to be considered. Once application rates 
are determined, decisions regarding source, 
timing, and placement method are needed 
to develop optimum nutrient management 
strategies. These strategies are commonly 
reported in land-grant university fertilizer 
recommendation bulletins. Source and 
placement may be generalized for most 
grasslands, but timing is specific to the 
species grown. Most nutrient additions 
should be made just before the forage starts 
rapid growth. 

In addition to affecting forage production, 
decisions about nutrient source, timing, and 
placement affect physical, chemical, and 
biological conditions of the soil. They also 
affect air and water quality and atmospheric 
concentrations of greenhouse gases. Therefore, 
nutrient management decisions should include 
these multiple goals. In this section, we first 
review information related to budgeting and 
supplying nutrients to grasslands, followed 
by a scientific assessment of the nutrient 
management criteria listed in Code 590. 



u 



...nutrient 

management in 

grasslands begins 

with budgeting 

nutrients" 



CHAPTER 5: Nutrient Management on Pastures and Haylands 



TABLE 5.1. Purposes of the Nutrient Management Practice Standard (Code 590) and criteria for assessing achievement of the purposes. 



Purposes of the practice 
standard 

Budget and supply 
nutrients for plant 
production 



Criteria for assessing achievement 
of the purpose 



by developing a nutrient management budget using all 
potential sources of nutrients, including crop residues, 
legume credits, and irrigation water 



by establishing realistic yield goals based on soil 
productivity information, historical yield data, climate, 
management, and local research 

by specifying the source, amount, timing, and method of 
applying nutrients to each yield goal while minimizing 
movement of nutrients and other potential contaminants to 
surface or ground waters 

by restricting direct application of nutrients to established 
minimum setbacks (e.g., sinkholes, wells, gullies, surface 
inlets, or rapidly permeable soil areas) 



address the amount of nutrients lost to erosion, runoff, 
drainage, and irrigation 



Support by the literature 



Strong support for hayland, but need 
manure credits for pastures and research on 
phytoavailability. 



Moderate support, more research needed on 
lower quality land sites. 



Strong support for application ahead of 
growth, more research needed for offseason 
applications. 



Strong support, but mainly based intuitively 
from other studies. More research needed for 
pastures and haylands. 



Strong support that this is critical, but need 
more soils and sites, perhaps models. 



applications be based on current soil (within 5 yr) and 
tissue test results according to land grant university 
guidance 

by reducing animal stress and death from toxic or 
poisonous plants 

by improving and maintaining plant health and productivity 



by basing management on target levels of forage 
utilization or stubble height as a tool to help ensure goals 
are met 



Moderate support, current soil tests do not 
report P or N indices. 



Moderate support, but not a major problem 
in humid areas. 

Strong support, except on roles of organic 
by-products. 

Moderate support showing principles; little 
on specific management practices. 



by locating of feeding, watering, and handling facilities to 
improve animal distribution 

by improving or maintaining riparian and watershed 
function 



Strong support that would benefit from 
quantitative models to better define. 

Moderate support, research needed on more 
soils and sites. 



by minimizing deposition or flow of animal wastes into 
water bodies 


Strong support, but would benefit from 
models. 


by minimizing animal effects on stream bank stability 


Strong support. 



by providing adequate litter, ground cover and plant 
density to maintain or improve infiltration capacity of the 
vegetation 

by providing ground cover and plant density to maintain or 
improve filtering capacity of the vegetation 

by minimizing concentrated livestock areas, trailing, and 
trampling to reduce soil compaction, excess runoff, and 
erosion 



Strong support in concept, but responses 
need to be quantified for a range of soils and 
sites. 

Strong support, but responses need to 
be quantified for a range of species and 
mixtures. 



Strong support and a range of practices to 
minimize soil damage, but few to restore soil 
condition. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. W. Wood, P. A. Moore, B. C. Joern, R. D. Jackson, and M. L. Cabrera 



TABLE 5.1. continued. 



Purposes of the practice 
standard 


Criteria for assessing achievement 

of the purpose Support by the literature 


Protect air quality 
by reducing nitrogen 
emissions (ammonia 
and NOx compounds) 
and formation 
of atmospheric 
particulates. 


by reducing accelerated soil erosion Strong support, would benefit from use of 

models. 

by minimizing concentrated livestock areas to enhance Strong support, but needs to be integrated 
nutrient distribution and improve ground cover with plants and their growth habits. 

by improving carbon sequestration in biomass and soils Strong support, would benefit from use of 

models to quantify relationships. 

by application of soil nutrients according to soil test to Strong support for most monocultures, need 
improve or maintain plant vigor more research on mixtures. 


Maintain or improve 
physical, chemical, and 
biological condition of 
the soil. 


by applying and managing nutrients in a manner that Strong support intuitively based on annual 
maintains or improves the physical, chemical, and crops, but needs verification using long-term 
biological condition of the soil perennials. 

by minimizing the use of nutrient sources with high salt Strong support, but it does not appear to be 
content unless provisions are made to leach salts below the a problem unless excess rates applied, 
crop root zone 


by not applying nutrients when the potential for soil No support, research needed because 
compaction and rutting is high perennials can become compacted, but are 

not tilled. 





Nitrogen 

Rates of fertilizer N applications to grasslands 
depend on N uptake capacity of the forage and 
N made available within the soil. Nitrogen 
uptake of forages varies depending on plant 
species, soil characteristics, and environmental 
conditions. Annual N uptake of a mixture of 
smooth bromegrass (scientific names of all 
plant species used in this chapter are listed 
in Appendix III) and alfalfa ranged from 90 
to 21 1 kg N ha" 1 , depending on amount of 
fertilizer N added (Nuttall, 1980). Annual N 
removal in New York was 241 kg N ha" 1 for 
tall fescue and 205 kg N ha" 1 for orchardgrass 
(Cherney et al., 2002). In Texas, annual N 
uptake of 'Coastal' bermudagrass fertilized 
with ammonium nitrate ranged from 121 
to 409 kg N ha" 1 depending on N rate used 
and environmental conditions (Silveira et al., 
2007). 



soil organic matter and plant residues may 
range from 40 to 230 kg N ha" 1 yr" 1 and 
is positively related to soil organic matter 
content, residue composition and favorable 
environmental conditions (Hopkins et al., 
1990; Hassink, 1995). In comparison, N 
derived from deposited animal excreta can 
be as high as 1200 kg N ha" 1 in concentrated 
areas of deposition. This application rate is 
well in excess of potential forage uptake and 
can lead to N losses to air and water, although 
these hot spots of N loss may be distributed 
widely and comprise only a small percentage 
of the pasture area. The N received annually 
in precipitation usually ranges from 3 to 10 kg 
N ha" 1 (Whitehead, 1995), and biological N 2 
fixation can supply as much as 400-650 kg N 
ha" 1 annually (Ledgard and Ciller, 1995; Trott 
et al., 2004), although typical values range 
from 27 to 141 kg N ha 1 (Yang et al., 2010). 



In natural systems like permanent pastures, 
available N for forage uptake is derived from 
that supplied from mineralization of soil 
organic matter and plant residues, grazing 
animal excreta, precipitation, and biological 
N 2 fixation. Nitrogen mineralized from 



Several indices have been developed to evaluate 
potential N mineralization during a growing 
season from soil organic matter (Schomberg 
et al, 2009), but currently there is no method 
to obtain an accurate estimate. The amounts 
of N mineralized from soil organic matter 



CHAPTER 5: Nutrient Management on Pastures and Haylands 



TABLE 5.2. Conservation Physical Practices Effects (U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service [USDA-NRCS], 
2009) on pastures and haylands associated with the NRCS Nutrient Management Practice Standard (Code 590). 



Variable 


Effect 


Rationale 


Plant selection or condition 


Plants not adapted or suited 


Slight to substantial 
improvement 


Nutrients and soil amendments are optimized to enhance suited 
and desired species. 


Productivity, health, and vigor 


Slight to substantial 
improvement 


Nutrients and soil amendments are optimized to enhance health 
and vigor of desired species. 


Forage quality and palatability 


Moderate to substantial 
improvement 


Proper management will increase quality and palatability of 
forage. 


Domestic animals 


Inadequate quantities and quality 
of feed and forage 


Moderate to substantial 
improvement 


Nutrients are managed to ensure optimal production and 
nutritive value of the forage used by livestock. 


Stress and mortality 


Slight to substantial 
improvement 


Management results in nutritive forage improving livestock 
health. 


Air quality 


Excessive greenhouse gas- 
carbon dioxide 


Slight improvement Management of nutrients optimizes the storage of soil carbon. 


Excessive greenhouse gas— nitrous 
oxide 


Slight improvement 


Reduction in N in waste results in less N volatilization. 


Excessive greenhouse gas— 
methane 


Slight to moderate 
improvement 


Proper nutrient management reduces methane production. 


Ammonia 


Slight to moderate Proper nutrient management reduces ammonia production, 
improvement 


Objectionable odors 


Moderate to substantial Proper management and application/incorporation of manures 
improvement and some biosolids reduces volatilization, volatile organic 

compounds, and particle transport. 


Water quality 


Excessive nutrients and organics in 
groundwater 


Substantial improvement The amount and timing of nutrient application are balanced with 

plant needs. 


Excessive salinity in groundwater 


Slight improvement Proper nutrient application should reduce salinity if nutrient 

source contains salts. 


Harmful levels of heavy metals in 
groundwater 


Slight to moderate The action limits the total amount of heavy metals that can be 
improvement applied to a site, ensuring that harmful levels are not leached to 

groundwater. 


Harmful levels of pathogens in 
groundwater 


Slight improvement The action limits the amount of manure that can be applied, thus 

preventing harmful levels of pathogens. 


Excessive nutrients and organics in 
surface water 


Substantial improvement 


Source, amount, timing, and method of application are 
managed to maximize nutrient use efficiency by the crop and 
minimize potential for nutrient losses in leaching and runoff. 


Excessive suspended sediment and 
turbidity in surface water 


Neutral 


Proper nutrient application will minimize losses due to runoff. 


Excessive salinity in surface water 


Slight improvement 


Proper nutrient application should reduce salinity if nutrient 
source contains salts. 


Harmful levels of heavy metals in 
surface water 


Slight to substantial Changing pH will alter the solubility of metals. The action will 
improvement reduce the application rate of heavy metals if required. 


Harmful levels of pathogens in 
surface water 


Slight improvement Decrease application of pathogens if nutrient source contains 

pathogens. 



Conservation Outcomes from Pastureland and Hayland Practices 



C. W. Wood, P. A. Moore, B. C. Joern, R. D. Jackson, and M. L. Cabrera 



TABLE 5.2. continued. 



Variable 


Effect 


Rationale 


Soil condition 


Organic matter depletion 


Slight to moderate 
improvement 


Applying sufficient nutrients will maintain or enhance biomass 
production. 


Contaminants— N, P, and K in 
commercial fertilizer, animal 
wastes and other organics 


Slight to moderate 
improvement 


Proper application results in reduced risks of contamination from 
N, P, and K. 


Contaminants— salts and other 
chemicals 


Slight to moderate 
improvement 


Decreased excess nutrients results in reduced salts and other 
contaminants. 


Compaction 


Slight to moderate worsening 


Field operations on moist soils cause soil compaction. 



are usually based on studies of crops grown 
with and without N fertilizer applications. 
Mineralization from soil organic matter 
depends on environmental conditions such as 
soil temperature and water content, so rates are 
expected to vary from year to year (Cabrera and 
Kissel, 1988). 

Consequently, research is needed for pastures 
and haylands to develop appropriate methods 
to identify pools and rates of mineralizable 
N from soil organic matter. These data will 
help develop simulation models that allow 
estimation of mineralized N using real-time 
environmental conditions (Schomberg and 
Cabrera, 2001). Process-based models that 
can predict N release and uptake have been 
developed (Zhang et al., 2002) but have not yet 
been translated into decision support tools. As 
with release from soil organic matter, release of 
N from plant residues is also strongly affected 
by environmental conditions (Lory et al., 1995; 
Rodriguez-Lizana et al., 2010). Biological N 2 
fixation by legumes can contribute significant 
amounts of N to grasslands. 



Alfalfa-orchardgrass pastures in Iowa 
increased from 15 to 136 kg N ha" 1 yr" 1 as the 
percentage of alfalfa in the mixture increased 
from 11% to 55% (West and Wedin, 1985). 
Similarly, alfalfa-bermudagrass pastures in 
Texas fixed from 80 to 222 kg N ha" 1 yr 1 
(Haby et al., 2006). Despite the significant 
N contributions from legumes, their use has 
decreased in hayland and pasture systems 
of the USA, due in part to the difficulty of 
maintaining legumes in mixed stands and 
to the availability of low-cost N fertilizers 



(Howarth et al., 2002). Recent increases in 
energy costs of producing N fertilizer, fertilizer 
prices have increased and have led to renewed 
interest in use of mixed stands of legumes and 
grasses. Therefore, research is needed to fine- 
tune management systems that improve the 
persistence of legumes in mixed stands. Also, 
research is needed to evaluate effects of legume 
proportion on N 2 fixation and transfer to 
grasses, particularly with warm-season grasses 
(Haby et al., 2006). Research is also needed 
on genetic selection of legumes for higher 
N 2 fixation capacity and tolerance to acidity 
and low P levels, as well as improvement 
of bacterial strains and inoculant carriers 
(Graham and Vance, 2000). 

Because of the natural variability in 
environmental conditions, N application 
rates for grasslands have been typically 
derived from economic analyses of long- 
term experiments carried out with plots in 
which forage is cut instead of grazed (Power, 
1985). Mechanical forage harvesting studies 
are relatively easy to conduct because they 
avoid dealing with uneven stubble heights 
and manure deposition from grazing animals. 
Although the results from these studies 
are certainly appropriate for hay and silage 
production, optimum N application rates 
for grazed grasslands need to be adjusted 
downward to account for recycling via 
deposited excreta. Research is needed to 
develop these guidelines. 

Grazing animals return 75-95% of ingested 
N to the soil via feces and urine, which can 
become partly available for plant uptake 



CHAPTER 5: Nutrient Management on Pastures and Haylands